How the Wright brothers developed flight

Human beings have always dreamed of being able to fly. The first recorded story of humans taking to the skies is that of Icarus and his father, Daedalus. Daedalus was able to make wings from feathers and wax. Many tried this only to plummet to their doom. Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the first to design a flying machine that, sadly, would not have worked. Elmer, the Mad Monk of Malmesbury, was successfully able to glide safely from the top of the Monastery with his design. Montgolfier created a hot air balloon that was able to carry a goat and three chickens above Paris. Even then, many scientists suggested that anything heavier than air and powered could simply not stay up. However, the work of two bicycle makers was to shake the world in 1903 when they created the first powered flight. This was the work of the Wright Brothers.

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Their invention was able to open up the world for the traveller. Modern planes can carry up to 400 people, and more on some aircraft. This would not be possible without the work of technology and manufacturing processes using Bending Machines like those from

The Wright Brothers decided that powered flight was possible. They both came from a deeply religious background, but they were not “good” boys. Orville was once expelled from a school for bad behaviour. It was a present given to them that set the boys on course for the development of their aircraft. Their Father bought them a toy helicopter made of cork, bamboo and rubber bands. The boys played with the toy until it broke and then duly went and built their own.

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Neither were particularly academically successful. Orville dropped out of high school to start a printing business; Wilbur became withdrawn after an accident and did not go to Yale as planned. Wilbur joined his brother in printing, and they became very successful. They decided to take advantage of the sudden craze for bicycles and cycling. They initially repaired bikes but soon began to make their own.

With the money they made, they began to become interested in Gliders. They realised that with a power source to provide thrust, the plane would take off once the right amount of lift was underneath them. This was proved by a tiny engine that worked a propeller. They also worked on a vertical rudder to steer later versions of the Wright Flyer.