Wright Brothers

Wright Brothers Biography, Inventions, Hometown, Plane, & Facts 

Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright (Wilbur (1867-1912); Orville (1871-1948)) – 2 Americans, for whom most countries in the world recognize the priority of creating the first aircraft in history capable of flight, as well as making the first controlled flight of a man on a heavier-than-air apparatus with an engine.

There are many interesting facts in the biography of the Wright brothers, which we will discuss in this article.

Name : Wilbur and Orville Wright Biography  _

Who is he: pilot, inventor, aircraft designer

Birthday: August 19, 1871(age 76)

Date of death: 30 January 1948

Place of birth: Dayton, Ohio, USA

Father: Milton Wright

Mother: Susan Katherine Koerner

Awards and prizes: Elliott Cresson Medal (1914) Albert Medal (Royal Society of Arts) (1917) John Fritz Medal (1920) Washington Prize (1927) Franklin Medal (1933)

Biography of the Wright Brothers

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Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright (English: Wilbur Wright (1867–1912) and English: Orville Wright (1871–1948)) are two Americans, who in most countries of the world are recognized as having the priority of inventing and building the world’s first airplane (a dispute about primacy with Alberto Santos-Dumont), capable of flight, as well as the first controlled flight of a man in a heavier-than-air vehicle with an engine on December 17, 1903. Two years later, the brothers were able to develop the project into the first practically operational aircraft. Although the Wright brothers were not the first to build and fly an experimental aircraft, they were the first to control such flight in the air, which made possible the further development of aircraft construction in the world.

The Wright brothers’ greatest fundamental achievement was their discovery of the aircraft’s three axes of rotation, which allowed pilots to effectively control the aircraft and maintain its balance during flight. This method became the main one, and remains so to this day for all types of aircraft. From the beginning of their research into the theory of flight, the Wright brothers focused on studying the issues of controlling a flying vehicle, rather than finding the ability to install more powerful engines, as other experimenters had done. Their wind tunnel experiments produced more data than all the other experiments of the aviation pioneers, giving them the ability to design and build more efficient wings and propellers. The US patent number 821393 they received was issued for the invention of an aerodynamic control system,

Biography of the Wright Brothers

The future inventors grew up and were raised in the family of Evangelical Church Bishop Milton Wright and his wife Susan Catherine Koerner. Wilbur and Orville were two of 7 children to their parents.

Wilbur Wright was born on April 16, 1867 in the US state of Indiana; Orville Wright – August 19, 1871 in Ohio.

Childhood and youth

Wilbur and Orville Wright

When the Wright brothers were still children, their father gave them a toy helicopter. It is worth noting that the toy was designed according to the model of Alphonse Penaud, an aviation pioneer.

The boys had great fun playing with the helicopter until it broke down. This led the brothers to decide to make a similar toy themselves. In later biographies, Wilbur and Orville stated that it was the toy helicopter that sparked their interest in flying.

As a result, the brothers devoted their entire lives to aviation. They were so passionate about aeronautics that their personal lives faded into the background. As a result, none of them ever married.

The Wright brothers never received school certificates, which was due to family moves and other reasons. In his youth, Wilbur was seriously injured while playing hockey, losing his front teeth. After this incident, he withdrew into himself, although before that he was optimistic and sociable.

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Carier start

In 1889, Orville and Wilbur decided to go into the publishing business. To do this, they independently constructed a printing press, through which they began to publish the newspapers “West Side News” and “Evening Events”.

Three years later, a bicycle boom broke out in the United States , as a result of which the Wright brothers opened a bicycle store. They also had a workshop for repairing this type of transport. Things went so well that Orville and Wilbur soon began making bicycles under their own brand.

Business allowed the Wright brothers to significantly improve their financial situation. As a result, they had money to realize their main dream – creating an airplane. By that time in the biography, the guys were already familiar with the gliders of Otto Lilienthal.

Characteristics of the Wright Brothers’ Gliders

Characteristics of the Wright Brothers' Gliders


In 1896, 3 outstanding events occurred in the world that radically influenced the Wright brothers; in the spring, Samuel Langley successfully launched a flying device with a steam engine; in the summer, Octave Chanute tested different models of gliders, and in August it became known that Lilienthal died on his glider.

Having a stable source of income, Orville and Wilbur spent days and days studying the works of various scientists, including Leonardo da Vinci . In 1899, they already began to conduct their first experiments in the field of gliding flight.

Orville in Kitty Hawk with glider

At the same time, the Wright brothers were working on two main problems – lift and engine. It is important to note that, unlike a number of contemporaries, they paid special attention to controlling the flying machine, and not to searching for a more powerful motor.

By observing birds and researching the advanced technology of the time, the brothers were able to develop a mechanism that allowed them to perform turns in the air. They successfully tested their achievements on biplane kites.

After this, the Wright brothers switched to gliders. During the biography period 1899-1902. they managed to achieve high levels of improvement in airframes. Each subsequent model had increasingly successful aerodynamic characteristics, allowing the glider to better control the flight.

Orville and Wilbur’s wind tunnel experiments produced more data than all the experiments of the aviation pioneers combined. This allowed the brothers to create more efficient wings and propellers.

The Wright brothers’ great achievement was that they discovered a system of 3 axes of rotation of the aircraft, thanks to which pilots were able to control their flight and maintain balance. An interesting fact is that this method is still used for all types of aircraft.

After a number of successful glider takeoffs and landings, in 1903 the Wrights designed the Flyer 1, which was powered by an engine. It is curious that the frame and propellers of their aircraft were made of spruce. At the same time, the gasoline engine was made for them by a mechanic from the brothers’ bicycle shop. His weight was 77 kg.

Lift Calculation


L = kSV2CL


  • L = Lift in pounds
  • k = Air pressure coefficient (Smeaton coefficient)
  • S = Total surface area in square feet
  • V = Speed (relative to air) in miles per hour
  • CL = Lift coefficient (varies depending on wing shape)

Example Values:

k S (ft²) V (mph) CL L (lbs)
0.00256 200 100 1.5 0.384
0.003 150 120 1.8 0.648

The wingspan of Flyer 1 was about 12 m, and the aircraft itself weighed 283 kg. On the eve of the flight, the brothers cast lots to decide who would become the first pilot of their ship – the choice fell on Wilbur.

The first takeoff attempt was made on December 14, 1903, but ended in failure due to minor technical errors. After 3 days, the Wright brothers made 2 flights, managing to accelerate the plane to 43 km/h. The first flight was performed by Orville, flying 36.5 m.

First flight of Flyer 1

Then the brothers made a couple more flights, the range of which did not exceed 60 m. And yet, this was a huge breakthrough in world aviation. By the way, the flight altitude was about 3 m above the ground. It is noteworthy that the Wright brothers’ achievement went unnoticed for a long time.

This was due to the fact that Orville and Wilbur Wright did not seek to publicize their successes. Their main goal was to obtain a patent for their invention, which would allow them to have a number of advantages in the future.

Until 1908, the brothers were modernizing their aircraft, after which world fame came to them. They signed lucrative contracts with the US Department of Defense and a large French company. In subsequent years, more and more advanced aircraft began to appear, which began to fly faster and safer.

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The first to die was Wilbur Wright, who died on May 30, 1912, at the age of 45. The cause of his death was typhus. Orville Wright survived his brother by 36 years, dying of a heart attack on January 30, 1948 at the age of 76. Until Orville’s death, controversy continued over the brothers’ right to be called “aviation pioneers.”


In conclusion, the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright family, were true pioneers in the field of aviation. Through their tireless efforts, the brothers achieved the first powered flight on December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. This monumental event marked the birth of modern aviation and forever changed the course of human history. The Wright Brothers’ legacy can be seen in the countless mentions of their names, from the Wright Flyer, the first successful airplane, to the Wright Brothers National Memorial, honoring their groundbreaking achievement. Their contributions continue to be celebrated, with institutions like the National Air and Space Museum and Wright State University paying tribute to their monumental feat. Their story is not only one of technological triumph but also of unwavering determination and a shared dream to take to the skies. The Wright Brothers’ impact on the world is immeasurable, and their journey remains one of the great stories in American history, inspiring generations to pursue intellectual interests and reach for the skies.


Who were the Wright Brothers?

The Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, were American inventors and aviation pioneers credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful powered airplane.

Where did the Wright Brothers conduct their famous flight?

The Wright Brothers made their historic first flight on December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on the Outer Banks.

How long was the first flight made by the Wright Brothers?

The first powered flight made by the Wright Brothers lasted for approximately 12 seconds and covered a distance of about 120 feet.

What was the name of the first successful airplane built by the Wright Brothers?

The first successful airplane built by the Wright Brothers was known as the Wright Flyer.

Did the Wright Brothers have any other significant inventions or achievements?

Aside from the invention of the airplane, the Wright Brothers also operated a bicycle shop, where they developed and sold bicycles. They later formed the Wright Company to manufacture and sell airplanes.

What is the significance of the Wright Brothers in aviation history?

The Wright Brothers are widely recognized as the pioneers of modern aviation. Their achievement in achieving powered, controlled flight marked a major milestone in human history.

What is the legacy of the Wright Brothers today?

The Wright Brothers’ legacy lives on in various ways, including the Wright Brothers National Memorial, the Wright State University, and the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later became NASA.

How did the Wright Brothers contribute to the development of aviation technology?

The Wright Brothers made significant contributions to the development of aeronautical engineering, including innovations in wing design, control systems, and propeller technology.

Who were some key figures in the Wright Brothers’ lives?

Katharine Wright, the Wright Brothers’ sister, played a significant role in their endeavors. Additionally, Bishop Milton Wright, their father, provided encouragement and support for their pursuits.

How did the Wright Brothers’ achievements impact future generations?

The Wright Brothers’ success not only revolutionized transportation but also inspired generations of inventors, engineers, and pilots. Their story remains one of the great achievements in American history.

Photo of the Wright brothers

The Wright brothers' first glider First flight of Flyer 1 Wright Brothers PIX Wright Brothers PIC Wilbur Wright Orville Wright

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I am a dedicated full-time author, researcher, historian, and editor. These areas of expertise encompass art, architecture, and the exploration of common threads across diverse civilizations. I hold a Master's degree in Political Philosophy and serve as the Publishing Editor at Evidence News.

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