The Wright brothers Orville and Wilbur are considered to be the fathers of modern flight. They were not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, but they were the first who invented controls that made flight controllable. Before they revolutionized flight, many other methods had been attempted such as people jumping off buildings or other high locations with make shift wings attached to their arms, or machines that bounced up and down with something akin to an umbrella on top of them. None of these experiments were very successful though some did manage to glide very short distances.
The Wright brothers started off with small kites testing various principles, such as when wings on one side of the kite were bent the other side would receive more lift. They then moved onto using gliders. The gliders were first flown something like a kite, being held by tethers. They began to fly the gliders, often not getting far off the ground, but they did manage to achieve unpowered flight. It was not until 1903 and the Wright Flyer I that the Wright brothers attempted powered flight. (Kent 562)
There was, however, the development of blimps and hot air balloons which were somewhat controllable but still depended largely on where the wind would take them. The Wright brothers were the first to develop successful, controllable, heavier-than-air air craft. Most such aircraft before had been disasters, crashing after being launched off cliffs or other high points.
The first successful airplanes were of the biplane design. From 1914 ...
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...be waged from the skies. Battle plans now had to include a way to protect soldiers from attack from over head and to harass the enemy using the same. In the beginning powered flight had little effect on war but by the end it was a major aspect. Air power became a major contributing factor to who would win a war.
Kent, Rosemarie, ed. The New Book of Knowledge. Danbury, CT: Grolier Incorporated, 2001. Print.
Mosley, Leonard. Battle of Britain. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life, 1977. Print
Stewart, Gail B. World War I. San Diego: Lucent, 1991. Print.
Williams, John. "Chapter 8." World Atlas of Weapons & War. London: Aldus, 1976. 96-111. Print.
History Wing Introduction." Home Page for the Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company and Wright-brothers.org. 1999. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.
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