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The Wright Brothers: Great Innovators Of Flight

2942 words - 12 pages

Throughout history, mankind has been fascinated with the concept of flight. It was not until the turn of the 20th Century that the dream of flying among the birds became a reality. On December 17, 1905, Wilbur and Orville Wright flew on the first flying machine that was heavier than air. The Wright brothers made a legacy for themselves and are remembered as some of the greatest innovators of their time. In this report, I will give a brief biographic account of the early adulthood, pre-flight business endeavors, and the events that led up to the innovation that evolved into modern aeronautics.
Wilbur, the eldest, was born near Millville, Indiana in 1867. Orville was born Dayton, Ohio, in 1871. During their childhood, the Wright brothers were inseparable. According to The Wright Brothers by Russell Freedman, Wilbur Wright once said, “From the time we were little children, my brother Orville and myself lived together, played together, worked together and, in fact, thought together.” Even as adults, they shared everything from a joint bank account and their flight experiments.
To the surprise of the public, despite being good students, neither of the Wright Brothers finished high school nor received any special education in the fields of science and engineering. However, they always were handy with tools and had well-developed problem solving skills. Even as adults, the wright brothers enjoyed playing with mechanical toys and devices. There curiosity with mechanical devices with encouraged by their parents, Milton Wright and Susan Koerner.
In 1878, after the father returned from a business trip, Milton Wright gave his sons a toy called a Pénaud helicopter. This toy was made of cork, bamboo, and thin paper and flew threw the air with a mechanism powered by a rubber band. The helicopter sparked the young Wright brothers’ curiosity and they began to make their own versions of the helicopter and try to produce flying machines that could help them fly. When they were children, Orville made kites to sell to his friends. He made kites with thinner ribs that curved. Because of Orville’s unique kite shape, his kites flew better than kites with thicker, sturdier ribs. However, they were unable to accomplish their goal of building a large flying machine during their childhood and temporarily put their ideas of flying through the skies to rest.
Since Wilbur was unable to get his high school diploma after his family moved to Dayton, Ohio, he decided to stay home and take care of his terminally ill mother. Wilbur had originally intended to go to Yale but a small accident caused him to chip his two front teeth and he lost the confidence to go to college. However, he always felt uneasy about his lack of ambition and his decision to stay home. In 1889, Orville dropped out of high school and built a printing press with Wilbur’s assistance. Afterward, the Wright brothers began a printing business. They had a newspaper, but they...

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