Who Invented The Airplane



Facts About Who Invented The Airplane


Although there were many other people around the world who claimed to build and fly the first airplane, the Wright brothers are officially the people who invented the airplane. Wilbur and Oroville Wright were born in the 1800’s and when they were both in elementary school they received a toy helicopter from their father. It was inspired by an invention from Alphonse Penaud who was an aeronautical pioneer from France. The boys loved the toy so much that they eventually broke it because they played with it too much. They studied the way it was made and understood the concept of how it worked so the boys made a duplicate. Many years later after the invention of the plane the Wright brothers cited that this gift was the inspiration for wanting to be the ones who invented the airplane.



Neither Oroville nor Wilbur right ever graduated high school or received their diplomas.  Their lives were pretty much separate until they went into business selling bicycles in 1892. Before that Wilbur mainly stayed home and cared for his elderly mother and Oroville ran a printing business. They had always had an interest in flying and now that they had a successful business they could start to experiment with their inventions, so that they could become the first people who invented the airplane.

In 1896 the brothers read in magazines and newspapers that people were making strides in aeronautics. Otto Lilienthal of Germany had glided and Samuel Langley had flown an unmanned type of aircraft successfully. They were concerned by the deaths these inventors suffered and they were constantly thinking of ways to improve the technologies that were available at the time.

They knew that in order for a plane to fly correctly it had to be manned and that the flying devices must have wings and also a powerful engine and they also knew that the plane had to be balanced. The original idea of flying a plane without balance was extremely flawed and the Wright brothers were concerned about this. They had to start making plans to build a newer type of flying machine.



One of the ways to observe a steady flight was to take note of birds. When they wanted to turn they rolled their bodies by changing the angles of the wings. This was also the same concept for riding a bicycle. They were desperately trying to figure out how to mimic this action. They eventually inventing wing warping and solved the problem. In 1903 they invented an anhedral droopy winged airplane. It was able to handle small gusts of wind for better control.

During the early 1900’s Wilbur and Oroville Wright struggled with a host of problems that kept occurring during the flying of their gliders. They noticed that weather and wind have a big affect on the flying of planes and had to learn how to control the plane in any situation. They started to follow a lift equation that measured wind velocity and the weight of the actual load.

Finally on September 20, 1904, Wilbur made history by flying a full 4000 feet and staying in the air for a minute and a half. On November 9 and December 1 of the same year, Wilbur flew the engine powered machine for a full 5 minutes and covered 3 miles. Because the newspapers at the time would not allow the brothers to work in peace, there are only a few pictures of these actual flights. The Wright brothers had to continuously mislead the newspapers and reporters to different areas to complete their experiments.

The Wright brothers are officially the first people who invented the airplane. But there were many more people around the world who also contributed.