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Wright Brothers Timeline of Flight

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Wright Brothers Timeline of Flight: Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th American President who served in office from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909. One of the important events during his presidency was the first powered airplane flight by the Wright Brothers.

Definition and Summary of the Wright Brothers Timeline of Flight
Summary and definition:
In just 7 years the Wright Brothers went from building bicycles to inventing the first powered airplane.

1896: Wilbur and Orville manufacture and sell bicycles

1899: They build their first glider with a 5-foot wingspan that is flown like a kite

1900: They build a manned biplane glider that has a17.5 foot wingspan. It flies 200 feet, flight lasts 15 seconds

1901: Orville and Wilbur test their manned glider that has a 22-foot wingspan and traveled 389 feet.

1902: They build a bigger manned glider with a 32-foot wingspan and record a flight of 622 feet, lasting 26 seconds

1903: They build their first powered biplane called the "The Flyer". It weighs 200 pounds, with 12 horsepower.

1903: December 17, 1903: Orville and then Wilbur pilot the first ever powered airplane

Wright Brothers Timeline of the First Flight for kids
Orville and Wilbur began their career in the in the printing trade where they gained experience as mechanics fixing the printing presses. Along with millions of other Americans, they became involved in the American Bicycle Craze of the 1890s and opened a bicycle repair shop. It was a great success, they made lots of money and then became fascinated with gliders and the idea of flying. In a ridiculously short period of time they made the first powered airplane flight as the following timeline shows:

1896: Wilbur and Orville begin to manufacture and sell bicycles of their own design.

  • They open 5 shops, in Dayton, Ohio and become rich. They then become interested in gliders

  • Their interest is inspired by Otto Lilienthal - the 'Glider King'

  • The Wright Brothers work on the premise that a pilot could balance an aircraft in the air, just as a cyclist balanced his bicycle on the road

1899:  Wilbur invents a simple system called  "wing-warping" that twisted or "warped" the wings of a glider, causing it to roll to the right or the left

1900: Wilbur and Orville build a "wing-warping" glider that is like a giant kite.

  • The "wing-warping" glider was unable to produce enough lift to support a man in moderate winds

  • They tested "wing-warping" control on a unmanned glider, flying it as if it were a kite with ropes attached

1900: Wilbur and Orville build a manned biplane glider that has a17.5 foot wingspan.

  • A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings stacked one above the other

  • The sand dunes at Kill Devil Hills were chosen for the test flight because it had high winds to launch them and soft sand to land on

1901: Wilbur and Orville test a manned glider with a 22-foot wingspan that traveled 389 feet.

1902: They build a bigger manned glider with a 32-foot wingspan

  • Wilbur and Orville record their longest flight of 622 feet, which lasted 26 seconds

  • They realized that they needed engine power, rather than wind power, to create a "flying machine" that would fly over longer distances.

1902: Orville and Wilbur decide to build a powered 'flying machine'. None of the automobile manufacturers can provide a suitable engine. The Wright Brothers enlist the help of Charlie Taylor, one of their mechanics, and build their own  four-cylinder engine

1903: Wilbur and Orville build their first powered biplane "flying machine" and aviation is born...

  • The biplane weighed 200 pounds, and produced about 12 horsepower.

  • On December 17, 1903 the Wright brothers make four engine powered flights

  • Orville pilots the first ever powered airplane and Wilbur also pilot the aircraft on the same day

  • They call their airplane "The Flyer"

1904: Wilbur and Orville build the "Flyer II" with a 40-foot wingspan and 15-16 horsepower engine. They test the Flyer III on a field in Dayton they call 'Huffman Prairie'. The engine was not powerful enough to lift the aircraft without strong winds so they built a simple catapult using a derrick and a track to get the plane into the air. 

1905: Wilbur and Orville then built the Flyer III. The Flyer III became the world's first practical airplane.

  • Their new design had a 40-foot wingspan with a 20 horsepower engine.

  • Its longest flight covered 24 miles which lasted 39 minutes

  • Wilbur and Orville were able to fly the highly maneuverable Flyer III in figure-eight's over Huffman Prairie

Wright Brothers Timeline for kids
The history of the Wright Brothers is told in a factual timeline sequence consisting of a series of interesting, short facts and dates providing a simple method of relating the
history and biography of the Wright Brothers for kids, schools and homework projects.

1867: Wilbur was born on April 16, 1867 in Millville, Indiana

1871: Orville was born on August 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio

1896: Open the Wright Cycle Company

1899: Wilbur invents the "wing-warping" system and the brothers build their first glider with a 5-foot wingspan that is flown like a kite

1900: Orville and Wilbur make a manned biplane glider that they test at Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk in Dare County, North Carolina

1900: October 22, 1900: Wilbur and Orville make their first free glider flights

1900: September 1901 - Wilbur presents a scientific paper called "Some Aerial Experiments" to the Western Society of Engineers challenging the accuracy of the accepted 'lift tables'.

1901: October to December - Wilbur and Orville build a wind tunnel to test different wing shapes for lift and drag.

1902: The Wright Brothers build a new glider with a 32-foot wingspan and record their longest flight of 622 feet which lasts for 26 seconds.

1903: Wilbur and Orville, together with their mechanic Charlie Taylor, build an engine for their biplane design they call "The Flyer". It weighs 200 pounds, and produces about 12 horsepower.

1903: On December 17, 1903 the Wright brothers make four engine powered flights over the sand dunes at Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Dare County, North Carolina. Orville piloted the first flight followed by Wilbur. They were  the first sustained and controlled flights that had ever been made.

1904: Orville and Wilbur built the "Flyer II" with a 40-foot wingspan and 15-16 horsepower engine which they tested along a track at Huffman Prairie.

1905: Orville and Wilbur built the Flyer III with a 40-foot wingspan and a 20 horsepower engine. Their record breaking flight covered 24 miles and lasted 39 minutes. The Flyer III became the world's first practical airplane.

1906: The Brother's Patent for the 'flying machine' was granted

1908: Wilbur and Orville make record breaking flights on their Model A Flyer. Orville flies in the United States and Wilbur flies in France. They become world famous.

1909: The US government negotiates the use of the Wright Brothers airplanes.

1909:  Orville and Wilbur establish the Wright Company.

1909: Orville and Wilbur Wright are awarded the Congressional Medal

1910: Orville and Wilbur open the first civilian flight training school in Montgomery, Alabama.

1910: Wilbur and Orville introduced their commercial aircraft, the Model EX with a speed of 50 miles per hour

1911: The Vin Fiz Flyer, built by the Brothers, is flown coast-to-coast across the U.S by Calbraith Perry Rodgers. The journey takes 3 months (due to crashes and  repairs) from September 17, 1911 - November 5, 1911

1912: Wilbur dies of typhoid fever on May 30, 1912 in Dayton, Ohio

1948: Orville dies of a heart attack on January 30, 1948 in Dayton, Ohio.

US American History
1881-1913: Maturation Era
Wright Brothers Biography
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