Wright Brothers

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade July 2001

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Wright Brothers Part 1 The Wright Brothers invention of the airplane greatly assisted in the growth of our country due to the fact that it opened many doors for the improvement of transportation. Wilbur and Orville Wright, also know as the Wright Brothers, were born into a family of seven people in the late 1860's. After living normal childhoods, Wilbur went to college only to drop out and then go back for further studies in Greek and trigonometry. By studying the works of those before them, The Wright Brothers began their efforts to build the world's first airplane. The Wright Brothers employed Otto Lilienthal, a well known German engineer's findings on the lift and wing surfaces. Using this they designed their 1900 glider. The Wright patterned their aircraft after the Chanute-Herring biplane, a biplane glider that was sturdy and pretty successful. After finding the perfect spot to start flying, near Kitty Hawk, and after carefully designing a biplane glider the Wrights were ready to test their glider.

The biplane was first tested as a manned kite, with one of the brothers manipulating the controls, while two others held the ropes. Later it was tested as an unmanned kite, with chains being used for ballast. The longest distance the plane glided was between 300 and 400 feet. The Wright Brothers soon realized that it would be much too expensive to keep shipping aircraft to Kitty Hawk so they developed a state-of-the-art wind tunnel. They tested between 80 and 200 different wing shapes in their tunnel looking for the perfect one to use for their airplane. With help form their wind tunnel the brothers created the first heavier-than-air airplane, the 1902 glider. At first the glider was only traveling 662 feet on the ground but it was flying into stiff...