Wilbur Wrigth (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912) and Orville Wrigth (August 19, 1871 – October 30, 1948). Scientists, mechanical engineers, inventors and aviators, better known as the Wright Brothers.
They are considered the parents of aviation, for building and flying the first aeroplane of mechanical propulsion, which also had a mechanism to modify the tip of the wings, thus achieving the first controlled flight in history.
From his childhood, Wilbur – who along with Orville was part of the five children among Milton Wrigth, bishop of a Christian Church, and Susan Catherine Kroerner Wrigh – was known for his intelligence and dedication to study. Of an extroverted character and strong context, he combined studies with sports.
He chose Yale University as his home, but an accident that occurred in 1886 during a Hockey game changed course.
A severe wound to the face, made with another player’s cane, plunged him into a severe depression, which caused him not to finish high school, cancel his plans to go to college and take refuge in his maternal home, until the death of his mother, occurred in 1889, due to Tuberculosis. During those three years, Wilbur would be reading.
Orville, for his part, was not as applied in the studios. He distinguished himself by his good health, his mischievous inclination and his passion for cycling, a sport where he became a leading competitor, at which time he developed certain mechanical knowledge, which would later apply in the bicycle factory that he had together to his brother Wilbur.
The Wrigth Press
After the death of his mother, Orville, who had served several years as an apprentice in a commercial printing press, he convinced his brother Wilbur to open a printing business. The Wrigth brothers’ printing house quickly gained a very good reputation, due to the good quality of their products.
Similarly, they began editing a couple of local diaries that circulated for a short time and of which Wilbur was the editor. They also began to build and market presses, also considered very well functioning and design, which they sold to other printing presses. The Wright brothers had discovered their great capacity for creating and building mechanical systems.
The bike shop
In 1892, Orville and Wilbor also opened a bicycle repair and sale shop. In 1896, they began the low-scale construction of their own bicycles, to which they incorporated a hub for the self-lubrication of the wheel, which was an innovation. The mechanical knowledge acquired in these companies, as well as the profits generated, were prepared and financed by their aerial research, which was dedicated from 1899 to 1905.
The dream of aviation
Brother Wrigth’s fascination with aviation began in 1878, when his father gave them a toy helicopter, based on the design of Alphonse Pénaud, which, built with paper, bamboo and cork, had a system that spinned the blades. However, it was the death of the aviator Otto Lilienthal, whose research had been fervently followed, that made them decide to begin their own experiments in 1896.
First flight maneuvered
They observed that the birds modify the angle of their wings, in order to hold on to the air. They began to experiment with the wings. They built a mount, with which the pilot could handle with the movement of his body the tip of the wings, to which they were attached through a system of ropes, allowing him to maneuver and make him spin, according to the conditions.
On December 17, 1903, they managed to get their plane, called Flyer, to stay in the air for 59 seconds, at a height of 852 feet (259.8 meters) achieving the first controlled flight in history. However, his invention was not received by the American press with much emotion, being questioned, even by other researchers.
The Wrigth planes
In 1908, Wilbur decided to travel to Europe, finding in France a much more receptive audience to his discovery. A year later, Orville and his sister Katherine reached him.
On the European continent the Wrigth brothers became real celebrities, making public demonstrations of their flights and offering rides for great personalities. In 1909 they began marketing their aircraft, becoming wealthy entrepreneurs, both in Europe and in the United States.
Final years and legacy
On May 25, 1910, they managed to impose another brand, when Orville piloted and flew – with his brother Wilbur as a passenger – for six minutes. It was the only flight they made together.
On May 30, 1912, Wilbur died of typhoid fever at his home in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 45. Three years later, in 1915, Orville sold the company. For the next thirty years he devoted himself to giving lectures on aeronautics. On 30 January 1948 he suffered a second heart attack that brought an end to his life.
The invention of the Wrigth Brothers ushered in the age of aviation, getting man to conquer the air, forever changing the known world and the perspective we had of him, which is why they are considered two of the most influential people in history.
Image Source: taringa.net
July 27, 2019