Wright Brothers Essay, Research Paper
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 winds and was covering a much greater distance in the air. Now all the Wright Brothers had to do know was build an engine for the glider. They built a 4cylinder gasoline engine. After developing the engine they returned to the wind tunnel to test propeller shapes. Once they found the perfect combo of propeller shape and Wing shape, they designed their 1903 aircraft.
With the invention of the airplane, the Wrights at first received wide acclaim for their invention, however most were overcome with jealousy and greed. France and Germany refused to allow the Wrights to have a patent for their ideas. This would mean that the French and Germans could copy the Wright?s ideas.
Most people today recognize the Wrights as the inventors of the airplane. The prevalent attitude toward the Wrights however, is that they were just bicycle mechanics who by chance, invented the airplane.
Wilbur and Orville Wright were both positive figures in American History because their invention of the airplane greatly improved our transportation and our military power.
? On December 17, 1953, the fiftieth anniversary of the world?s first airplane flight, the papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright were welcomed into the world with appropriate fanfare, including a picture story in Life magazine.?
Fred Howard. Wilbur and Orville Wright, A biography of the Wright Brothers
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987.
?At 10:35 a.m., Orville made the first heavier-than-air, machine-powered flight in the history of the world. In a flight lasting only 12 seconds and covering just 120 feet, Orville did what men and women had only dreamed of doing for centuries??he flew.?
Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. The Wright Brothers. Internet www page, at URL http://www.hfmgv.org, 1995-2000.
?The Wright Brothers invention of the airplane, however, did not only improve our country?s transportation but gave us a significant weapon of use for the wars in our country?s future.?
Donald J. Sobal. The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk. Chicago: Scholastic Paperbacks, 1989.
?Wilbur read about the death of a famous German glider pilot. The news led him to take an interest in flying. On May 30, 1899, he wrote to the Smithsonian Institution for information on aeronautical research and because the invention of the airplane was such a popular subject, the Institution quickly responded.?
Russell Freedman. The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane.
Chicago: Holiday House, 1994.