The Wright Brothers
and Their Airplane
By Nick K.
Did you know the Wright Brothers messed up in their first attempts at flying? They built two gliders before they had a successful flight.
In April 1867, Wilbur was born. He was born in Indiana with his mother, father, and two brothers. While already having three boys in the family, Susan Wright gave birth to the 4th boy of the family. Susan named him Orville. Orville was born on August 19, 1871. Orville was born in Dayton, Ohio. The first daughter of the Wright family came three years after Orville was born.
The Wright family stayed in Dayton Ohio until 1878 when
Orville and Wilbur were seven and eleven years old. In 1887, Mr. Milton was elected bishop
and he moved the Wright family to Iowa. In 1885 the Wright family moved back to
Wilbur eventually made it to high school and college and would have graduated if the Wright family hadn't moved during his senior year. A skating accident followed by his mother's death kept him from attending college. Orville was an average student but didn't behave very well. He quit college during his senior year to start a printing business.
When Wilbur and Orville were 22 and 18 years old, they started a printing firm and liked to be called the Wright Brothers. Using a damaged tombstone and buggy parts, they built a press and printed odd jobs and printed their own newspaper.
In 1893 the Wright
brothers bought bicycles and started a repair shop. Soon they
were creating their own bicycles called St. Clairs and Van Cleaves. While
nursing Orville from typhoid, Wilbur read about a famous Germen glider pilot. It
sparked his interest in flying once again. In 1899, the Wright brothers wrote to
the Smithsonian institute for instruction on flight.
Wilbur built his first glider in the year of 1900. He then contacted the U.S. Weather Bureau to see which state would have the most wind. They gave Wilbur a list of the top ten windy places in the U.S. Wilbur and Orville chose the sandy area of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. There the winds averaged 13 M.P.H. Wilbur and Orville ventured over to Kitty Hawk and tested their 1900 glider. It didn't do so well. So in 1900, they tried another attempt but they had a disappointing performance. In 1901, they decided to test the different varieties of the wing shape. They then created a 1902 glider. They tested the glider, and it was a big success. They set a record by flying 620 feet in the air.
When Wilbur built the propellers, he decided that not one airplane could fly on its own. So he built a 4-cylinder, 12-horsepower engine for the airplane. They finished the airplane in the back of their bicycle shop. They called their airplane the 1903 Flyer. When they finished the 1903 Flyer, they sent it over to Kitty Hawk and assembled it. When Wilbur tried to fly the airplane, the airplane didn't start and it stalled. So Wilbur and Orville decided to flip a coin to see who got to fly the airplane next. Orville won the toss and got in the pilot position. In 1903, at 10:35 am Orville made history. He flew the first airplane heavier than air. While only flying 120 feet in 12 seconds he did the one thing that men and women dreamed about doing for centuries.... He FLEW...