History of the First Airplane
The Wright Brothers Pilot The First Airplane. Man attempted to achieve flight hundreds of years before he actually accomplished it.
Flight was realized initially with a hot air balloon in 1783, but while this type of travel was amusing, it wasn’t great for getting places with the rider at the mercy of wind direction. Then, Sir George Cayel created the first glider that flew with a man on board, but gliders were difficult to control and weren’t able to travel long distances.
The Wright brothers were employed at a bicycle shop in 1890, when they found an interest in flying. The shop taught them that bicycles were fast and near the ground and they used this knowledge in their experiments. The brothers researched airplanes from books and they began to tinker with gliders. Their first attempt had only half the lift that the brothers had calculated. After many improvements to the glider they invented a kite with two wings in 1899.
Orville and Wilbur created a wind tunnel to measure drag and lift on their wing designs. The brothers were able to fix errors on earlier designs and developed several sophisticated mechanisms that accurately measured how their wings handled the environment.
The brothers continued their work on gliders and finally invented one that could be piloted while it was in the air. This was accomplished when they found out that a rudder in the tail of the plane and flaps on the wings would allow the airplane to be controlled. A pilot would be able to direct where the airplane was going and at what height.
The Wright brothers officially became the first team to fly an airplane with a pilot in December, 1903.
The first flight lasted for 12 seconds and was a distance of 123 feet. This was one of three flights that were successful for the brothers that day. The longest one was piloted by Wilbur and he flew for 892 feet and remained in the air for 59 seconds.
Orville and Wilbur were the first airplane designers that focused on the ability to control and power an aircraft at the same time. They created wing warping to solve the problem of control and added a yaw that included a steerable rudder located at the back of the aircraft. They were also responsible for attaching a low-powered engine to their invention.
The brothers were tenacious in their desire to achieve flight and were instrumental in the advancement of airplanes. They helped create a convenient way for everyone to travel.