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When The Wright Brothers Took Flight

The Wright brothers played a crucial role in the development of aviation. The first individuals to successfully construct and fly an airplane were Orville and Wilbur Wright, who established aviation history. Every flight that has been taken in an airplane subsequently was made possible thanks to these brothers.

It’s interesting to note that the Wright brothers ran a bicycle shop before becoming famous for flying. How did they go from wheels to wings, then? Here are some fascinating facts about these remarkable inventors, whose perseverance altered how we travel.


A Gift From Dad

The toy the Wright brothers received from their father when he traveled to France gave them the desire to fly for the rest of their lives. The brothers broke it after playing with it too much, but they eventually created a better replacement.

The Wright brothers loved flying kites outside when they were young boys, much like people used to do back in the day. The brothers made their own kites as well. It was a part of their initial attempts to overcome gravity. They awarded their mother a lot of credit for passing down her skills in construction and maintenance.


Wings And Wheels

The name “Wright” was originally connected to bicycles rather than airplanes in 1890. The Wright brothers left the printing business as soon as bicycles became widely popular and adapted to the new market. They established the Wright Cycle Company and a bicycle repair business. They reportedly did it for the money and weren’t all that crazy about bikes.

Otto Lilienthal, a German engineer in the 1890s who was known as the “Glider King” due to his experiments with glider flights, served as an inspiration for the Wright brothers as they entered the new world of flying. The Wright brothers made the decision to challenge Lilienthal after reading about his accomplishments.


The Possibilities

Another person who influenced the Wright brothers was Samuel Langley. As the Smithsonian Institution’s Secretary, Langley created “an unmanned steam-powered fixed-wing model aircraft.” Wilbur made the decision to contact the Smithsonian in 1899 for more knowledge on aeronautics following the successful flight of his craft.

The brothers were persuaded “that human flight is viable and practicable” after reading more on the issue. The brothers got books and set out on their historic journey. They were unaware that their interaction with the Smithsonian was about to take a dark and ironic turn at the time.

Photo: Collection

A Feud

The Wright brothers received a US patent for a “flying machine” on May 22nd, 1906. A crucial distinction was noted in the patent’s claim that it was “a new beneficial way of operating a flying vehicle, propelled or not.” This led to a protracted dispute between the Wright brothers and other aviation pioneers that lasted for decades and finally prevented the creation of a powered flight.

It should not come as a surprise, given their important contribution to aviation, that the Wright brothers founded the first civilian flying instruction facility. The institution was established in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1910.


Their Reputation

The Wright brothers’ reputation was tarnished by their patent disputes, despite the success and fame they received for their flying accomplishments. Long after Orville Wright surrendered his patent rights and left the business, the lawsuits continued. Potential engineers and manufacturers of aircraft shied away from the market because of the legal disputes at the same time that World War I increased demand for aircrafts.


Working Hard

Sadly, Wilbur Wright died of typhoid disease in 1912 at the age of 45. Years later, in 1948, at the age of 76, Orville passed away after a heart attack. Both brothers remained single their entire lives. They were so committed to their work that they were unable to concentrate on raising a family. Wilbur once said he didn’t have time for both a wife and a plane.

After losing his father and brother in 1917, Orville started to rely more on his sister Katharine. Along with running the home, she planned his “social schedule, correspondence, and business commitments.”

No doubt, the Wright brothers had a love for flight and committed their lives to aviation. Their journey to mastering the art of flying was not easy but their perseverance and determination live on in every flight we board. The work they did was fundamental for modern-day travel.