First To Fly: The Wright Brothers: First To Fly

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The Wright Brothers: First to Fly
What would the world be like without flight? Today we take aircraft for granted but for centuries man could only dream of flight. It was not until the late nineteenth century that human flight started to become a reality. During this time people started to see flight as a possibility, and enthusiastic inventors began working on and experimenting with many different types of flying machines. Although there were many determined people trying to develop an airplane, the Wrights were the first because of their good methods of testing, and their focus on understanding and developing lift and control.
The Wright brothers developed many good methods of testing such as experimenting with kites. Clive Hart tells us, "The Wrights worked toward ultimate success by undertaking a rationally ordered sequence of experiments, beginning in 1899 with the construction and testing of a biplane kite, the wings of which could be twisted, or 'warped'." (Hart 38) The Wright brothers were unlike many other experimenters in that they did not immediately try to develop a large, heavy, powered aircraft, but experimented first with smaller kites and gliders. According to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, they used kites to test their ideas, and they always tested their gliders as kites, which was a good way to check their performance before attempting manned flights. Their glider trials gave them useful performance data which helped them to better understand flight, to solve problems, and to improve their later aircraft. (“Test Flying The Glider”) Also, Culick and Dunmore, in their book “On Great White Wings,” explain how by testing their ideas with gliders, the Wright brothers were able to grow fam...

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... that they were not interested in just getting off the ground with a dead end design. (“The Breakthrough Concept”) Their focus on understanding and developing lift and control was probably the biggest reason why the Wright brothers were able to succeed.
The evidence shows that because of the Wright brothers' methods of testing, and their focus on developing lift and control, they were able to beat the crowd of enthusiastic aviation experimenters in the race for flight. Wilbur and Orville Wright were two men who worked very hard in understanding and putting to work the principles of flight in building a successful and practical aircraft. All their hard work paid off when, on that historic day in 1903, they finally made the first powered flight. The Wright brothers' invention has changed the world, and they will always be remembered as the two men who flew first.

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