Segments in this Video

Wright Brothers: Introduction (01:08)


The Wright Brothers invented the science of aeronautics and made human flight possible.

Wright Brothers' Early Years (02:42)

Wilbur was born in April 1867 and Orville was born in August 1871; the brothers had different personalities that complimented each other. Wilbur and Orville opened the Wright Cycle Company in 1892. The 1800s were a time of technological growth; the idea of flight became a focus.

Early Flight Studies (03:31)

Otto Lilienthal inspired the Wrights to study flight. Flight control became a primary focus; the Wrights built a biplane kite and a one man glider. The Wrights experimented with the glider in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Early Flight Experiments (03:14)

The Wright Brothers tested their biplane glider in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in September 1900. They built a larger glider and returned to Kitty Hawk in 1901; the experiments were not as successful.

New Flight Designs (02:22)

The Wrights built a simple wind tunnel, crafted model wings, and documented the minutia of aerodynamics; the 1902 Wright Glider increased optimism. The Wrights designed a powered airplane and built a motor.

Wright Flyer (02:53)

In September 1903, the Wrights tested the powered aircraft and encountered problems with propeller axles. The Wrights made adjustments and in December, successfully made the first powered, sustained, and controlled flight.

Aviation Pioneers (02:27)

In 1904, the Wrights made over 80 flights at Huffman Prairie, revising technology and technique. In 1905, they built the Wright Flyer III and flew over 40 successful flights; they worried someone would steal their technology.

Airplane Contracts (03:30)

The Wrights built the Type A Flyer and signed a contract with the U.S. Army and a French company in 1908. Wilbur demonstrated the modified Type A Flyer in France while Orville demonstrated it at Fort Myer; Orville crashed on September 17th, killing his passenger.

Wright Brothers' Later Careers (01:41)

Wilbur set the world record for flight endurance in September 1908. The Wrights flew public stunts, opened a Wright Flyer manufacturing company, and concentrated on protecting patents. Wilbur died in 1912 and Orville sold his interest in the Wright Company; he died in 1948.

Credits: Legends of Air Power: The Wright Brothers (00:19)

Credits: Legends of Air Power: The Wright Brothers

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Legends of Air Power: The Wright Brothers

Part of the Series : Legends of Air Power
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Viewed from the distance of nearly a century, the Wright Brothers don’t seem as heroic as they really were. They had funny names and wore three-piece suits to the beach. To the modern eye, they look more like comedians than leading men. But they invented the science of aeronautics, thinking in three dimensions when the rest of the world couldn’t move beyond two. They made human flight possible, and every aircraft that has ever flown owes something to their work.

Length: 24 minutes

Item#: BVL129024

ISBN: 978-1-64023-390-4

Copyright date: ©2001

Closed Captioned

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