Wright Brothers

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This is a summary of the report about the Wright Brothers, who had the biggest impact on the development of civil aviaton.

The introductory part is dedicated to a brief description of the first engine powered flight made by Wright brothers on 17 December 1903.

The main part gives a short description of the life of the Wright brothers.

The third part describes how they made the biggest impact in civil aviation. In particular their inventions and discoveries, including: the light weighted engine which enabled the aircraft to take-off, identifiing the importance of weight and balance factors, using aerodynamics theories and calculating the ratio to invent wings which enabled to lift the aircraft and control it in the air also using the propeler to achieve lift force. They established the first aviation school and their aircrafts were manufactured under licence in Europe.

In the final part are conclusions about why the Wright brothers had the biggest impact, based on the above facts.


17th December 1903 is considered the most important day in the history of aviation. Two brothers, Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) and Orville Wright (1871-1946) from Ohio, United States, became the first individuals to fly ‘heavier-than-air’ aircraft, on the machine of their own design called ‘Flyer’. This historic moment took place at the sand beaches of Kitty Hawks in Northern Carolina, United States. That first flight was considered more than modest. It took 12 seconds, flew up to the altitude of 3 meters and overran the distance of 36.5 meters. The fourth flight that day lasted 59 seconds and flew 260 meters.

As the title indicates, this report argues why the Wright brothers had the biggest impact on the development of civil aviaton. Arriving to this conclusion required research of relating bibliography, biographies of the Wright brothers and a visit to London’s Science Museum. This report brings together facts on the various stages in aviation history. This is supported by information from several web sites which strongly confirmed relevant evidence.

It has to be mentioned that the journey of aviation was not simple. The event described above proceeded centuries of human errors, inventions, studies full of dead ends, serious work turned into mockery and magnificent theatres, falls and even many deaths in the worse cases. Considering the fact, that the Wright brothers were the first to achieve piloted, controlled and powered flight bringing together all important components of today’s modern aircraft, they are the ones who set the standard for future aviation.

The Wright Brothers
According to a study of their life, their youth gives a good basis for their adult years. They were the sons of Bishop Milton Wright, raised with his strong religious belief. Orville and Wilbur orientated their talents to technology from an early age. They gained the appropriate education and as a talented mechanics were producing bicycles.

“What of the Wright boys in Dayton? Just around the corner they had a shop and did a bicycle business—and they wanted to fly for the sake of flying. They were Man the Seeker, Man on a Quest. Money was their last thought, their final absent-minded idea. They threw out a lot of old mistaken measurements and figured new ones that stood up when they took off and held the air and steered a course. They proved that "the faster you go the less power you need." One of them died and was laid away under blossoms dropped from zooming planes. The other one lived on to meditate.” (Sandburg, 1989)

An impulse to construct an aircraft came in 1878 when their father gave them a gift of a toy flying butterfly (his background could be dated to ancient China). This toy had two contra rotating propellers, reminiscent of a helicopter. The brothers constructed models of aircraft and gained exceptional versatility. Flying became more than a hobby – they explored the subject in depth - by hard work,...
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