Wright Bros. - 100 years ago today...

Timr

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<P>Today is the aniversary of the Wright bros. first powered flight at Kitty Hawk.&nbsp; I've been watching the documentaries about the Wrights and following the group that set out to re-create this event today.&nbsp; I'm sure that it will recieve lots of new coverage.&nbsp; The Wrights truly are a symbol of American ingenuity.</P>
<P>From MSN.com</P>
<P><FONT class=pkey size=2><SPAN class=inlinetitle>Wright, Orville</SPAN> (1871–1948), American aeronautical engineer famous for his role in the first controlled, powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine and for his participation in the design of the aircraft's control system. Wright worked closely with his brother, <A class=qv href="http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761595615/Wilbur_Wright.html">Wilbur Wright</A>, in designing and flying the Wright airplanes. <I>See </I><A class=qv href="http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761556643/Airplane.html">Airplane</A>.</FONT></P>
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<P><FONT class=pkey size=2>Orville Wright was born in Dayton, Ohio. He and Wilbur attended high school in Dayton, but neither boy formally graduated from high school. While in high school the brothers developed an interest in mechanical things, taught themselves mathematics, and read as much as they could about current developments in engineering. They also made some attempts at editing and printing small local newspapers. In 1892 the brothers formed the Wright Cycle Company; for the next ten years they designed, built, and sold bicycles.</FONT></P>
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<P><FONT class=pkey size=2>The exploits of <A class=qv href="http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761566698/Otto_Lilienthal.html">Otto Lilienthal</A>, the German pioneer of gliders, inspired the Wrights to begin exploring the possibilities of powered flight in the 1890s. Lilienthal's death in an 1896 glider crash convinced the brothers that they not only must build successful airplanes, but must also learn to fly them correctly. During the next few years, they focused on controlling the direction and stability of an airborne object. In August 1899 they flew a kite with a wingspan of about 1.5 m (about 4.9 ft) and with controls for warping (twisting) the wings to control direction and stability. Their wing-warping method was the forerunner of the later idea of <I>ailerons</I>, flaps that can move independently of airplane wings to steer and stabilize the airplane (<I>see </I><A class=qv href="http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761556643/Airplane:_Control_Components.html#p82">Airplane: <I>Control Components</I></A>).</FONT></P>
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<P><FONT class=pkey size=2>In 1900 the Wrights built a larger kite with a 5-m (17-ft) wingspan that could carry a pilot. They chose to test their craft near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, because the site had suitable steady winds and sandy banks, which would minimize the impact of the craft and pilot upon landing. The kite flew well and Wilbur achieved a few seconds of piloted flight. The following July they returned to Kitty Hawk and built a wooden winged sled at Kill Devil Hills, where there were large sand dunes. Their new machine was longer and had a different wing shape than the previous model. It also had a hand-operated elevator attached to the horizontal tail stabilizer. Again they achieved encouraging results, particularly after further alterations to the wing arch, but there were still problems with stability and control.</FONT></P>
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<P><FONT class=pkey size=2>During the following winter Orville Wright designed and built a small wind tunnel and tested various wing designs and arches. In the course of these tests the Wrights compiled the first accurate tables of lift and drag, the important parameters that govern flight and stability. By winter’s end the brothers had built a new glider that had a 10-m (32-ft) wingspan and had, at first, a double vertical fin mounted behind the wings. Turning was still difficult, however, and they converted the fin to a single movable rudder operated by the wing-warping controls. This configuration proved so successful that they decided to attempt powered flight the following summer. During the winter of 1902 they searched in vain for a suitable engine for their craft and for information about propeller design. They eventually constructed their own 8.9-kilowatt (12-horsepower) motor and made their own efficient propeller. After some initial trouble with the propeller shafts, the so-called Wright biplane took to the air and made a successful flight on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk. The airplane had a wingspan of 12 m (39 ft) and weighed 340 kg (750 lb), including the pilot. The two brothers took turns flying the plane. Orville made the first successful flight, which lasted 12 seconds.</FONT></P>
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<P><FONT class=pkey size=2>The following year the Wrights incorporated a 12-kilowatt (16-horsepower) engine and separated the wing-warping controls from the rudder controls. They flew this new aircraft at their home town of Dayton, learning to make longer flights and tighter turns.</FONT></P>
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<P><FONT class=pkey size=2>In 1905 the Wrights had enough confidence in their design to offer it to the United States War Department. The following year they patented their control system of elevator, rudder, and wing-warping. Although they spent time patenting and finding markets for their machines during the next few years, they did not exhibit them publicly until 1908. That year Orville demonstrated the airplanes in the United States, setting several records when he kept the plane aloft for more than an hour on September 9. In 1909 the Wrights demonstrated their airplanes in Europe. The United States and European governments put in many orders for Wright airplanes, and the Wrights needed a manufacturing plant. In 1909 they formed the Wright Company to manufacture their airplanes.</FONT></P>
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<P><FONT class=pkey size=2>Orville became president of the Wright Company after Wilbur’s death in 1912, but in 1915 he sold his interest in the company to pursue aviation research. He eventually became a member of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics. By the time of his death Wright had received many awards and honors for the momentous achievement of the Wright brothers.</FONT></P></DIV></DIV></DIV></DIV></DIV></DIV></DIV>
 

CaptainObvious

Formally known as RV6Junkie
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#2
Happy anniversary to my fellow DRN aviators!

12 seconds that channges the world.
 

Rich Rohrich

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#3
Originally posted by RV6junkie
12 seconds that channges the world.
... and makes it possible for cool motorcycle guys like Glenn Curtiss to continue their work and change the world even further.

GLENN H.CURTISS
ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE:

Motorcycles
1901 Pioneer motorcycle designer and racer
1903 1st American motorcycle champion--world record:56.4 sec. mile
1904 Set ten mile world speed record
1904 Invented handlebar throttle control
1905 Set world speed records for 1, 2, and 3 miles
1907 Set world speed record of 77.6 mph
1907 "Fastest Man in the World" at 136.36 mph (V8 motorcycle)

Aeroplanes
1908 Lead designer and pilot of "June Bug", first offical,pre-announced, public flight in US
1908 "Flight engineer" for 1st Army dirigible trial
1909 Produced and sold first private aircraft in US
1909 Won first international air speed record with 46.5mph--Rheims,Fr.
1910 Long distance flying record of 150 miles from Albany to New York
1910 Established Flying School and Exhibition Company
1910 Trained Blanche Stuart Scott, the first American female pilot
1911 RECEIVED PILOT'S LICENSE NUMBER ONE for "June Bug" flight
1911 First successful pontoon aircraft in America
1911 "Father of Naval Aviation", Hydroaeroplane A-1 purchased by USN
1911 First dual pilot control
1911 First retractable landing gear (Hydroaeroplane)
1912 Developed and flew first flying boat--(demonstrated on Lake Keuka)

World War I
1914-1918 Produced 6,000 "Jennys", trainer for WW I

Post World War I
1919 Curtiss NC-4 flying boat--first to cross the Atlantic
1919 Commenced private aircraft production with the Oriole


Info provided by:
The Curtiss Museum
8419 Route 54
Hammondsport, NY 14840
 
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#4
You forgot one:

2000 - Acknowledges the phrase "E-Tard" made popular by Sir Richard Rohrich.
 

gwcrim

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#5
What amazes me are the leaps in technology made during my grandparent's generation. They were born right around the turn of the century. They saw society go from horse and buggy to the moon.

My grandmother used to tell me about her first sighting of a car. She actually thought that a horse got away from a carriage! Then in 1969 she was sitting there with me watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.

I can't think of any other generation of humankind that has seen such a leap.
 

Timr

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#6
Do motorcycles and airplanes just go together?&nbsp; I was introduced to motorcycles by my Dad, who still rides a lot today.&nbsp; And, I grew up around airplanes because my Dad was also a pilot.&nbsp; We owned 4 different planes during my childhood.&nbsp; The only problem with flying was the inabillity to take the dirt bikes on a trip.&nbsp; (our planes weren't that big)&nbsp; Maybe we should've looked for a C-130.&nbsp;
 

BadgerMan

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#7
Very cool!

I read today that their first flight measured just 120 feet.

Now dirt bikes fly that far with the greatest of ease. :)
 
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#8
Originally posted by BadgerMan
Very cool!

I read today that their first flight measured just 120 feet.

Now dirt bikes fly that far with the greatest of ease. :)
Not my dirtbikes! :scream:
 

BadgerMan

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#9
Not mine either.........with me still on them that is! :laugh:
 
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#10
Well, If I remember my history correctly. Their first design that actually flew was almost 6 years later in 1909. The first flyer was really nothing more than one of the gliders they practiced with, containg a useless engine that produced too little power to do much more than push them past 100 feet of "glide" and was too unstable to sustain any sort of real flight.. The shows on Discovery and TLC are a little inaccurate. Not to mention they were involved heavily with litagation etc as they were more concerned with getting credit for flying than the actual feat at that time. But, who wouldn't ?. There is a lot of credit due to a person who never got any recognition during that time period. I wish I could remember the name right now. But, was totally involved in the production of a design that actually flew, as the origional flyer and engineering was obsolete before they even started trying to fly. Someone help me out here. But I guess its an awesome accomplishment for two bike guys..Who knows where powered flight would be without them. They don't deserve as much credit as they get however. Just my opinion as i am really into this type of thing. i think the guy was an engine builder by trade. Hmm.
 
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G. Gearloose

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#11
Lunchbox you sound unnessarily critical..please entertain my ramblings..

The Wrights developed sound, revolutionary experimentation and engineering principles with meager education.

They developed an 80% efficient propeller , double existing designs, and only 5% below typical designs nowadays.

And they learned to fly in their 'spare' time.

They flew almost 800 ft the same day, three tries later.

Consider the state of the art of 'other' technologies in 1902/3, to give them scale.

They did it for perhaps under $5000.

Don't get caught up in the original Flyer's lack of performance; it showed the impossible possible.

The world wasn't ready for an airplane, 90% of America hadn't seen an automobile. its not their fault.