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The Wright Brothers: An Engineering Aspect; Design Process And Flight Control.

1547 words - 6 pages

About the Wright Brothers.Bishop Milton Wright and Susan Catharine Wright had four sons, Reuchlin, Lorin, Wilbur, and Orville, and one daughter Katherine. Wilbur was born on April 16, 1867, near Millville, Indiana. Orville was born 4 years later on August 19, 1871, in the families newly built home at 7 Hawthorn Street in Dayton, Ohio. A minister in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Milton Wright moved his family to Dayton so he could edit the church newspaper published there. The Wrights stayed in Dayton until 1878, when Milton was elected bishop and moved the family to Iowa.In 1885, they returned to the house at 7 Hawthorn Street. As the boys grew older, their parents encouraged them to pursue intellectual interests. They had two libraries in their house; books on theology were kept in the bishop's study, while the downstairs library had a large and diverse collection. This kept them always reading and learning while they were not at school. Although their dad was a stickler, both parents loved and kept the family united. Every once and awhile, Milton would bring them various souvenirs and trinkets he found during his travels for the church. One such trinket, a toy helicopter-like top, sparked the boys' interest in flying.Wilbur's skating accident and his mother's illness and later death kept him from attending college. Orville was on the other hand, was an average student, known for his mischievous behavior. He quit school before his senior year to start a printing business with his brother.The first time Wilbur and Orville referred to themselves, as "The Wright Brothers" was when they started their own printing firm at the ages of 22 and 18. Using a damaged tombstone and buggy parts, they built a press and printed their own newspaper.In 1892, the brothers bought bicycles. They began repairing bicycles for friends, and then started their own repair business. They opened up a bicycle shop in 1893, and three years later, made their own bicycles called Van Cleves and St. Clairs. While caring for Orville, who was sick with typhoid in 1896, Wilbur read about two events; the death in a flying accident of Otto Lilienthal, who was a celebrated German experimenter with gliders, and the successful launching of powered model aircraft by Samuel Langley. This struck Wilbur with excitement.The first step in their quest was research. The Wright Brothers began to search literature and media to find out the state of aeronautical knowledge during their time. They wrote to the Smithsonian and gathered technical papers dealing with aerodynamics. They read and studied the works of Cayley, Langley, and Otto Lilienthal, to get a concept at what they were actually being faced with during the design process.They studied the problems which had been encountered by previous flyers and they brainstormed about possible solutions to the problems encountered in the past. They looked for answers to the problems of flight by observing large birds. They determined...

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