The Wright Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright

As kids The Wright brothers loved to tinker with mechanical objects and toys. Wilbur was born in Dayton, Ohio on April 16 of 1867. He was 3 years older than Orville who was born on August 19,1871 near Millville, Indiana. They came to love flying objects when their dad brought them a toy called a Penaud helicopter. This was probably one thing that gave them a spark to start the warm beautiful fire the airplane. Though their original one did not last long in their hands they made copies at a young age and called them bats. When they tried to make bigger copies that failed they did not realize that they needed more power for them to work. The brothers lived in Dayton, Ohio most of their life though they moved around before. Orville was a troublemaker most of the time in school and quit high school while Wilbur was athletic and studied hard for school, but neither of the brothers received their high school diploma. Their parents always encouraged them to try new things so after their childhood they tried many different jobs.

The wright brothers started a bicycle shop after getting out of high school. The created and sold their bicycles for some money. They might of kept going but they couldn't keep up with the big bike producers. Most of their profits went to the airplane project.

They learned lots of engineering skills from the bicycle shop which proved very helpful to build the airplane.

The brothers also made a paper called the west side news. Orville was the creator and Wilbur was the editor. Orville trained as a printing apprentice for a while so he knew how to work a printer. He also had made a printing press out of random objects that could print at unbelievable speeds back then. They had one paper a day and it was called the evening item. Their business did not last long. It started in 1850 and ended 5 years later.

After these 2 jobs they had money and they started to draw their eyes to aerodynamics. The Wright brothers became interested in flight after reading articles reporting the death of a German aeronautical pioneer in 1896. After they read this they started their own path to fly high into the sky. At first they built gliders. They started to travel a lot to barren places with lots of wind to test these out. The gliders were to try to perfect the techniques of flying and finding out what they needed to fly. The first gliders were very simple and they controlled them like kites. After some time they made their own wind tunnel where they tested their gliders and made them more complicated and able enough to be able to hold a man. In the wind tunnel they developed the first accurate tables of lift and drag. They used the tunnel to test different wing designs and arches. Also the tunnel helped to build proper wing and tail shapes for a safe and stable flight. The brothers tried to use the Smeaton formula of lift to calculate the lift on their plane but they kept failing. They corrected the formula and made successful liftoff with the new formula (Made the 0.005 to a 0.0033). The brothers used a trial and error process and tested a lot after still, many calculations. They also had a different thought process than most engineers. Most others made their planes fly in theory with almost no tests. The brothers on the other hand took the risks of getting things wrong and tested a lot more to make their plane fly in reality. They also mastered the science of flying first before making their first powered engine.

The brothers made their own engine for the plane because when they tried to get one from the automobile they called the brothers crazy. The brothers engineering skills paid off. They first built the outside skeleton to make sure everything was able to smoothly run. Then the brothers finished the engine on February 1903. The engine was a huge disaster. They built a successful engine by May that year.

Since they had an engine up and running they started on the plane body the flyer, it would be the biggest plane yet.

The flyer was building but they still needed the propellers. The brothers were low on money so they decided to create their own propellers. They first worked in theory and theorized on what they should do. They decided to shape the propeller like a wing because it needed the same properties as the wings. After many problems they decided to use 2 slower moving propeller than 1 fast moving ones to reduce torque or the turning and twisting force on the plane.

The Flyer was tested on November 4, 1903. It had a 12 horsepower engine that they built, it weighed 170 pounds. With the rest of the plane the grand total was 750 pounds. The test was a disaster. The propellers broke off and they also broke the shafts. The new shafts came on November 20 but they still couldn't fly because the engine wasn't getting the gasoline it needed. The brothers fixed it. Then the propellers cracked. The brothers fixed that to. Then the weather wasn't cooperating at all. So they just had to wait. The weather was getting colder and they chance of flight was getting slimmer. Finally on December 13 the weather called them to fly, but the brothers did not fly because they did not want to break the Sabbath. Again on December 14 the weather called the brothers. Wilbur won the coin toss and the plane was airborne. The flight did not last long. Wilbur landed hard and broke a ski but was soon fixed. Orville hit true success on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. He flew 12 seconds and landed gently, he flew 120 feet.

Then Wright brothers connect to present day because they pioneered in aviation and flight. They helped start the study of aerodynamics and make accurate charts of wing designs and their properties. Without the brothers we would not have such an advanced form of airplane transportation.

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