When humans dreamed about flying the Wright brothers made the dream a reality. The Wright brothers, pioneers of aviation, made their first plane ride on December 17, 1903, in North Carolina. It was the first airplane that was heavier-than-air, powered, sustained, and controlled. The history of airplanes dates back to 350 BC; No, humans didn’t have their first successful flight but they imagined the possibility of flying. Chinese used sophisticated kites to test weather conditions. Kites are the main aspect that paved the way for the invention of gliders. It is also believed that Leonardo Da Vinci closely observed birds’ flight and made over 100 drawings regarding his theories on flight. It is said that the theories had a very clear design of how humans could fly and even helicopters were invented based on his concept. However, the first successful flight was made by the Wright brothers. Here are some of the interesting facts about the Wright brother’s first flight.
First Airplane Facts
- The Wright brothers did literature research and tested their ideas of flight with a kite.
- The brothers spent three years learning about how gliders can be controlled and about the winds.
- Before inventing the first airplane, the Wright brothers made many gliders and each glider had a different wingspan and different wing shape to test aerodynamics. They made more than 700 flights in their gliders.
- They traveled to a remote place called Kitty Hawk, a small beach with large sand dunes in North Carolina just because the place had regular breezes, soft and sandy landing surfaces. They made many friends on the island and visited often to test their flight.
- After testing with gliders, the brothers built their first flight in 1903 and named it Wright Flyer I. The flight was made of spruce wood, muslin, and wooden propellers were designed and carved by themselves. The plane also featured a gasoline engine.
- The Wright brothers also created a 3-axis control that made the pilots steer their planes while flying.
- It cost less than $1000 to build the first airplane, “The Wright Flyer I.” The first plane ride was not fast, the Wright Flyer I rose dipped down, rose again, bounced back, and finally one wing stuck in the sand. But How far did the Wright Flyer fly? The flight flew for 12 seconds and traveled 120 feet before landing.
- The brothers made 4 flights in the Wright Flyer I, on its fourth flight it was severely damaged and could not be flown again. The original Wright brothers airplane is still displayed in the Smithsonian as the world’s first piloted powered airplane.
- The Wright brothers wanted to take a picture of their historical moment and also to preserve a record for patent claims. So they gave their camera to John Thomas Daniel, a member of the U.S Life-Saving station and he had never seen a camera before. The photograph later became one of the most historic photographs of the century.