The First Air Plane
The Wright Brothers were always very interested in engineering. They also like to challenge themselves. They got the idea of trying to create heavier than air flight when the first automobile came to Dayton, Ohio. They spent a lot of time observing birds to learn about lateral control. they created a glider so they could experiment with it.
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, had a career that didn't pertain to flight in any way. They did have a little engineering experience from owning a bicycle shop. They also were involved in the printing business. The reason for their success is because the first thing they did was question the Lilienthal tables. They also used a wind tunnel to experiment.
the 1903 flyer had a 40 ft. and 4 in. wingspan and 8 ft. propellers. It weighed 605 lbs. without the pilot. the plane had an ash wood frame. it also had a 4 cylinder water cooled 13 horse power engine. It used bike chains and sprockets to turn the propellers. they gathered a bunch of locals to the scene to witness their flight. Orville manned the plane on the first flight which went 120 ft. and lasted 12 seconds.
The first flight took place in Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks. it was done here because of the great winds that would improve the flight. those winds are used today for sailing and windsurfing. today there are several Wright memorials in Kitty Hawk. they did the rest of their flying at "Huffman Prairie" in Dayton, Ohio. "Huffman Prairie" is now Wright Patterson Air Force base.
The brothers started working on the plane 1896. many people were trying to accomplish flight but the brothers were the first to get in the air on December 17, 1903. In 1905 they made an improved flyer that could make flights up to 30 minutes. This made it the worlds first practical plane.