How airplanes influenced the 20th century!

Essay by caseywhartonHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Downloaded 47 times

Airplanes in the Twentieth Century

To the Wright Brothers alone belong the credit, and the honor, for giving the world the

aero technology which changed the course of history as no other. They have given mankind a

great and vital commercial air transportation system, the aerospace industry, and air power for

defense. The dedication in adversity serves as an inspiration to all mankind. (These We Honor, 2).

The invention of the airplane was inspired by a German pioneer Litienthal. Litienthal

flew gliders and when Wilbur heard of this he was inspired to make the airplane (These We

Honor, 2). From owning a bicycle shop with his brother, he and his brother determined to

make the first man-flying machine. (These We Honor, 2). In 1896, the newspapers were filled

with accounts of flying machines. Wilbur and Orville noticed that all these primitive aircraft lacked

suitable controls. They began to wonder how a pilot might balance an aircraft in the air, just as a

cyclist balances his bicycle on the road.

In 1899, Wilbur devised a simple system that twisted or

"warped" the wings of a biplane, causing it to roll right or left. They tested this system in a kite,

then a series of gliders. They made their first test flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on the

shores of the Atlantic where the strong winds helped to launch the gliders and the soft sands

helped to cushion the fall when they crashed. Their first two gliders, flown in 1900 and 1901,

failed to perform as the Wrights had hoped. The gliders did not provide enough lift nor were they

fully controllable. So during the winter of 1901-1902 Wilbur and Orville built a wind tunnel and

conducted experiments to determine the best wing shape for an airplane. This enabled them to...