Wright brothers

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The Wright brothers
Birthday
Died
Occupation
Orville: printer/publisher, bicycle retailer/manufacturer, airplane inventor/manufacturer, pilot trainer
Wilbur: editor, bicycle retailer/manufacturer, airplane inventor/manufacturer, pilot trainer

Wright brothers,

American airplane inventors and aviation pioneers. Orville Wright 1871–1948, was born in Dayton, Ohio, and Wilbur Wright, 1867–1912, near New Castle, Ind. Their interest in aviation was aroused in the 1890s by the German engineer Otto LilienthalLilienthal, Otto
, 1848–96, German aeronautical engineer, a pioneer in his experiments with gliders. He made major developments in the glider based on his observations of birds and wrote a number of books on aviation.
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's glider flights. Excellent mechanics, the Wrights used the facilities of the bicycle repair shop and factory which they operated (1892–1904) at Dayton for the construction of their early aircraft. By experimenting with movable portions of the wing assembly, rather than shifts in bodily weight, as a means of correcting the aircraft's position in flight they made an important improvement in aircraft design. During this period they also drew up valuable tables of wind pressure and drift. An engine was designed by Orville, and they constructed and attached it to their improved glider.

On Dec. 17, 1903, they made near Kitty Hawk, N.C., with its steady, moderate winds and long, soft beach, the first controlled, sustained flights in a power-driven airplaneairplane,
 aeroplane,
or aircraft,
heavier-than-air vehicle, mechanically driven and fitted with fixed wings that support it in flight through the dynamic action of the air.
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. Of their four flights on that day, the first, made by Orville, lasted 12 sec, and the fourth, by Wilbur, covered 852 ft (259 m) in 59 sec. The brothers continued their experiments at Dayton and built several biplanes. Record-breaking flights in 1908 by Orville in the United States and by Wilbur in France brought them worldwide fame. In 1909 the U.S. government accepted the Wright machine for army use, and the brothers established the Wright Company. The house where Orville was born and the bicycle-shop laboratory have been restored and were moved to Greenfield Village, Mich.

Bibliography

See their papers, ed. by M. W. McFarland (2 vol., 1953); C. P. Graves, The Wright Brothers (1973); P. Degan and L. Wescott, Wind and Sand (1983); F. Howard, Wilbur and Orville (1988); L. E. Tise, Conquering the Sky (2009); D. McCullough, The Wright Brothers (2015); bibliography ed. by A. G. Renstrom (1968).

Wright brothers

creators-aviators of first manned aircraft (1903). [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 563]

Wright Brothers

(Wilbur, 1867–1912) (Orville, 1871–1948) made the first controlled, sustained flight in a power-driven airplane (1903). [Am. Hist.: NCE, 3012]
See: Firsts
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