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In the early 1900's, Wilbur and Orville Wright had a vision to one day fly. In 1903 they reached their goal in the sand dunes of North Carolina. Wilbur Wright was born on April 16, 1867, in Millville Indiana. His brother, Orville Wright was born on August 19, 1871, in Dayton, Ohio. Wilbur and Orville owned a bike shopped, and produced bikes. Along with making bicycles Wilbur had a dream of building a full size flying machine. Wilbur once said that he had been "afflicted with the belief that flight is possible." There obsession over flight drove them to make a breakthrough, a world changing event. This drive led them to producing each of the technologies they needed to make them fly. There invention of the airplane was one of the greatest inventions ever produced.
On December 17, 1903, the Wright flyer flew for the first time in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. This was not the first time they tested there invention though, they had many other attempts before hand. The Wright brothers used Sir George Cayley's three broad categories:
1. A set of lifting surfaces, or wings
2. A method of balancing and controlling the aircraft
3. A means of propulsion
The Wright brothers saw that the airplane, even though unstable could still be controlled. This was the same principles they used for building there bicycles. The Wright brothers twisted and warped the wing structure; this is what they called wing-warping. The Wright brothers also created there own four cylinder engine to propel there plane. To test out there wings, they used a wind tunnel to see how the air flowed over top of the wing. They wanted to make the wing so it had the most efficient lift. Because of these creations, there airplane was successful.
There were many things that made the Wright Flyer work. They used a four cylinder engine to propel the plane. The engine was cooled by water. This was not a radiator, but yet a reservoir of water that would refill the water jacket. The Wright brothers used a Chain-and-Sprocket Transmission System. They ran chains to steel propeller shafts, which turned the propellers in opposite directions to neutralize the effects of the whirling blades.
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Wilbur Wright's need to have his dream fulfilled of making a flying machine was accomplished. They then patented there plane on May 22, 1906, U.S. Patent 821,393. They're market was simple, the military. The military would help them distribute their invention because it would show how useful it was. By World War I there was now a need for aircraft to be used in action. They offered the Wright Brothers twenty-five thousand dollars if they could meet the specific criteria. The army said they would give them a ten percent bonus for every mile over forty miles per hour. They averaged forty two and a half miles per hour. This upped the plane costs to thirty thousand a plane. The Wright brothers were now set. The first military plane ever was the Wright Military Flyer. The Wrights also made money off of suing people for trying to steal their invention. After making their money, Wilbur Wright got tired and stressed. He got typhoid fever in 1912, and died on May 30. Orville then sold the firm three years later and retired from aviation. Orville Wright did not die until 1948 as he passed away from a heart attack.
The airplane was adopted by many others in many countries. It was later developed not only for military use, but for commercial cargo and passenger air transport. On account of the Wright brothers' invention, now much of the world relies on airplanes as a major part of their economy. The Wright Military Flyer could go forty-two and a half miles per hour; there are now planes that can go up to mach seven, or almost five thousand miles per hour. Everyone in the later part of the twentieth century depended on the airplane as a source of protection, income, and travel. Now in a war if you control the airspace, you are almost guaranteed to win. So much of the economy is based on flight. Whether it's because you need something to be delivered, so you can carry out your job, or you need to get somewhere so you can be at your job. The airline industry creates a lot of jobs because there are so many things to do before getting on an airplane.
The airplane was one of the greatest inventions anyone could have made. It had a huge impact on everything. It was an indication that a new modern era was coming. If you found this invention five hundred years after it was discarded, the wings and propellers would be rotted away. The four-cylinder engine would be rusted away, but possibly still intact. But, when you did find it, you would know that it was the Wright Flyer.
Encyclopedia Britannica Wright, Wilbur; and Wright, Orville