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Facts About The Wright Brothers

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The Wright brothers are cited as the fathers of flight. Man had always dreamed of flying but we were unsure how we would do it until that faithful period in December 1903 when the brother Orville and Wilbur Wright took flight in their hand crafted dingy airplane controlled by the wind and simple man power.

The Wright brothersThe Wright brothers at the Int. Aviation Tournament, Belmont Park, Long Island, N.Y., Oct. 1910. Picture by LOC.

It took many tries

It took many tries and many grievous crashes before they finally perfected flight. It was their simple tests and experiences that allowed us to develop ways to travel through the sky with very little strife. Even though we know a lot about the brothers in general, we might have missed out on a few little facts that escaped our minds during the years we spent leaning about them in school.

What was the first plane they built?

The first plane the brothers built was actually more so a glider, clocking in at about 16 feet from each side wing to wing. It cost them 15 dollars to build the thing but back then that was a gold mine. They would later have to spend just under $1,000 dollars to get a gas powered plane built which was outrageous, for the time.

The first successful flightPhotograph of the first successful flight of the Wright brothers, December 17, 1903. Orville is at the controls, while his brother John Wright runs alongside the plane at its wingtip. Photograph by John T. Daniels of the Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station.

How did they learn about flight?

From the best source possible, the creatures that had perfected flight long before man: the bird. They studied birds every waking moment during their experiments. They even attempted to recreate specific wings and wing spans to see if they could replicate what our winged friends already achieved.

How long were they in the air once they finally succeeded?

Orville stuck it to the sky for over an hour long when they finally perfected their plans to the utmost degree, unfortunately a few days later he would do this again and crash, killing a passenger he had on board and being injured in the process.

How did Wilbur die?

He died relatively early in life in the year 1912 by typhoid fever, a real killer at the time. His brother would continue to work on projects alone after his death but would retire three years later after selling the Wright company.

Also see: facts about famous inventors.