111 years ago the Wright brothers made a historical flight

17 Dec

Breaking news: December 17, 1903 at 10:35 am EST brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright flew into history here at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. That was probably the headline on every newspaper across the country on that day 111 years ago. That was when Orville Wright made the first successful flight of a heavier than air craft. The flight only lasted 12 seconds and the flier travel 120 feet at an altitude of just a few feet above the ground. They made more flights on that day with the final one lasting almost a minute and traveling 852 feet at an altitude of 10 feet.

I found the control of the front rudder quite difficult on account of its being balanced too near the center and thus had a tendency to turn itself when started so that the rudder was turned too far on one side and then too far on the other. As a result the machine would rise suddenly to about 10 ft. and then as suddenly, on turning the rudder, dart for the ground. A sudden dart when out about 100 feet from the end of the tracks ended the flight. Time about 12 seconds (not known exactly as watch was not promptly stopped),” is an exert from Orville Wright’s diary.

The two brothers started experimenting with flying crafts in 1899 working in their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. They worked with parts from their bicycles, cloth and wood to create their flier. By 1902 they had their first practical glider. After searching for an area to test their glider they settled on Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Once they transported the glider there, they made over 700 successful flights. The success of the glider proved they were ready for the next step of powered flight. The problem was that they could not find anyone to supply them with a motor. So, it was back to their shop where the brothers crafted their own motor.

In 1905 the Wright brothers sent letters to both the English and American military proposing a test flight for an airplane that could carry personal a minimum of 50 miles. The British sent someone to witness a test flight but the United States turned the offer down. In 1908 the brothers did win a bid to supply the United States military with an airplane.

The Wright brothers could not have imagined just where that first flight would lead to in the next century. What would they think if they could see the commercial flights zooming to all corners of the Earth, the hi-tech stealth fighters and various spacecraft.

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