"Right wing," "Check." "Left wing," "Check." "Elevator," "Check." "Hawkeye this is the control tower, you are safe for takeoff." You are about to learn about the dawn of aviation and the pioneers of flight!
In 1894, Otto Linienthal developed his first hang glider. He considered it the safest glider of its kind. Unfortunately, he met his death during a flight on the same glider.
Wilbur Wright was born on April 16 of 1867. Orville was born four years later on August 19, 1871. The brothers were very close, and even sounded the same!
They got interested in flight when their dad brought home a rubber band "flying machine." The brothers started by watching birds in flight. Then they went to a remote beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. They tested gliders and gained knowledge with every flight. The next step was to find an engine that was powerful and light. They also had to build a propeller to get the plane in the air. Finally on Thursday, December 17 the Wright Flyer was in the air! The flight lasted only 12 seconds, but launched the beginning of flight.
There were many other famous planes in the early history of flight. The Wright EX "Vin Fiz" was the first plane to make a transcontinental flight. William Randolph Hearst flew the plane. The name "Vin Fiz" came from a soda company that sponsored the plane. The Lockheed Vega was flown by Amelia Earhart. She had many record-breaking flights in this plane. The Lockheed Vega was the perfect plane for Earhart's love to fly. Amelia Earhart flew from California to Hawaii in her Lockheed Vega. She was the first person to complete this trip! She also carried, for the first time in the world, a two-way radiotelephone. In 1931 Charles and Anne Lindbergh flew to the Orient. They were the first people to fly as far east as the Orient.
Ever since the Wright brothers made their first flight the world has been buzzing with aircraft. Oh, speaking of the Wright brothers, please remember, two wrongs don't make a right but, two Wrights make an airplane!
Freedom, Russell. The Wright Brothers How They Invented the Airplane. New York, NY: Holiday House, 1991.
"Amelia Earhart-The Celebrity, Biography." Ellen's Place. 26 November 2004 <http://ellensplace.net/ae_celb.html>.
Beaudoin, Jack. "The Sky's the Limit." Scholastic Update. Dec. 1993: p12. Searchasaurus Search Engine for Kids.
"Early Flight." National Air and Space Museum. 4 November 2004 <http://www.nasm.si.edu/exhibitions/gal107/gal107.html>.
Copyrighted images of airplanes from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?lc=en-us&cag=1> (October-March, 2004-2005). Clip art only available to licensed users for non-commercial purposes.
1. Aviation is a form of transportation (through the air). Back