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The Wright Brothers

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FC: Wilbur Wright Orville Wright The Wright Brothers

1: Orville and Wilbur Wright were two of seven children born to Milton Wright and Susan Catherine Koerner. | Neither Wilbur nor Orville ever married. | The Wright home in Dayton, Ohio. (Wilbur and Orville built the wrap around porch in the 1890's.)

2: Wilbur Wright was born on April 16, 1867 in Millville, Indiana. He became ill and was diagnosed with typhoid fever following a trip to Boston in April of 1912. Wilbur died on May 30, 1912 at the young age of 45.

3: Orville Wright was born in Dayton, Ohio on August 19, 1871. He died at the age of 76 on January 30, 1948.

4: Inspired by a favorite toy, the Wright brothers create their first aircraft they called a "bat", it was a rubber-band powered helicopter. | In 1886, Orville starts a printing business while in high school. In 1889, he decides to create a newspaper called "West Side News" and Wilbur joins as an editor.

5: Since there was no profit in the newspaper business, the Wrights continue with the printing business to make a living, but... | In 1893, the Wright brothers opened a bicycle shop to sell and repair bikes. | The brothers decide to manufacture their own bicycles, the St. Claire, and the Van Cleve. Business is profitable.

6: The Wright brothers were methodical in their approach to flight.They learned from others' unfortunate mistakes. They decided that in order to have safe flight there had to be a more reliable way for the pilot to control the aircraft.

7: From the observation of birds in flight, the brothers decided to change the aircraft's angle, or bank, in order for the pilot to control and turn the aircraft. | They also took the idea of a ships rudder for steering the aircraft.

9: Model of Wright brothers' box kite. In July of 1899, the brothers built a five foot box kite. Its form was similar to that of a biplane.

10: To test each of their new gliders, the 1900, 1901, and 1902 versions, the Wright brothers traveled to Kitty Hawk, NC. They also tested them from atop the sandy dunes of Kill Devil Hill nearby. | Kitty Hawk, NC | 1900 Glider Wilbur Wright flew in this glider not far above the ground with men holder ropes tethered to it.

11: After hundreds of well controlled glides, the Wright brothers decided to move on to powered flying machines. | 1901 Glider This glider was constructed with a larger wing area and made 50 to 100 flights that summer. | 1902 Glider After building a six foot wind tunnel and testing miniature wings, the brothers adjusted the wings of this 1902 glider. A new feature on this glider was the moveable rear rudder that allowed for control in turns.

12: December 17th, 1903 The Wright Brothers make their first flight off the Kill Devil Hill on the Outer Banks. Orville and Wilbur spent several months perfecting and testing their invention. Finally, flight had been achieved.

13: The Wright Brothers built their camp on the Outer Banks near the flight site. Wilbur Wright was quoted as saying "We don't intend to be uncomfortable," referring to their accommodations. These are replicas at the National Monument.

14: The Wright Brothers made 4 flights on the day of December 17th. The first of 4 flights was piloted by Orville Wright by the decision of a coin toss. Orville flew for 120 feet, and an entire 12 seconds! The Wright Brothers took off into a very stiff 27 mph headwind.

15: Each of the 4 flights that the Wright Brothers made on December 17th was longer its previous. The final flight was 852 feet. It was ended by a wind gust that resulted in a crash landing and damaged the Flyer beyond easy repair.

16: These stones represent the distances of flights 1, 2, and 3 on December 17th. The rock on the far left is the ending point of flight 1, the middle rock is the end of flight 2, and the right rock is the end of flight 3. The Wright Flyer achieved a ground speed of 6.5 mph during the flight.

17: In 1903, the flights took place on top of the Kill Devil Hill sand dune. However, in the years between the flights and when the Wright Brothers National Monument was built, the Kill Devil Hill had shifted 450 feet south. The field at the bottom of this hill is where the first flights actually happened.

18: The first flights took place on top of the dune where the Wright Brothers National Monument is located. The dune has since shifted.

20: The brothers received a patent in 1906 for their flying machine. The use of ailerons by other developers resulted in lawsuits by the brothers. One of their main opponents in developing a commercial airplane in the United States was Glenn Curtiss. These lawsuits damaged the reputation of the brothers who were once viewed as heroes.

21: Glen Curtiss in France 1909.

22: The lawsuits were settled and development of future aircraft began. World War I impacted the growth of aviation as a method of war. Today we use airplanes to travel the globe.

23: Ohio and North Carolina both like the claim the Wright brothers flight as their own. The 50 State Quarters series shows this with North Carolina claiming first flight while Ohio claims aviation pioneers. John Glenn and Neil Armstrong are also Ohio natives.

24: The legacy of the Wright brothers continues as new inventors works to create the airplanes of tomorrow.

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