Great American Adventurers: The Wright Brothers and the Airplane

Great American Adventurers: The Wright Brothers and the Airplane

Man has always been fascinated with the concept of moving through the air. From watching birds effortlessly fly through the air, man has tried to find ways to duplicate the ease of flying. However, since man does not possess wings that can move and propel themselves through the air, they have had to look for other ways to travel through the air. Through trial and error, early air travel involved using balloons to get them into the air, and gliders to move in the air. However, neither method quite equaled the ability to propel them and move with ease through the air.

In the late 1800’s brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright take an interest in kites, gliders and the ability for flight. From this early interest, the brothers start experimenting with various methods of flight, which despite early failure continued to pique their interest. With continued experimentation, the brothers felt confident that they were close to having the ability to fly through the use of an engine, and in 1903 applied for the first patent for a flying machine. On November 9, 1904, the first sustained flight of over five minutes occurred in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. From this brief flight, word spread, and soon the boon to get in the air began.

In subsequent years, air travel has evolved to include transcontinental travel and with jet engines capable at traveling at great speeds. Aviators such as Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Wiley Post, Howard Hughes and Chuck Yeager have all had roles in advancing air travel. From meager beginnings in air transportation the airplane is now capable of carrying hundreds of people comfortably and travel thousands of miles. And today air travel is one of the biggest industries around the world with billions of people traveling on a yearly basis.

Early Flight

  • History of Flight – Informative resource from NASA outlining the history of flight from early time.
  • Timeline of Flight – Exhibit from the Library of Congress providing information on the history of flight.
  • Early Flight – Useful page covering man’s attraction to various types of flight and their attempts to duplicate it.
  • The Flying Machines – Interesting page outlining the machines that were used to attempt flight before the Wright Brothers successful flight.
  • Early Flying Myths and Legends – Site discussing various theories about early attempts at flying.
  • History of Flying – A look at some of the early unsuccessful attempts that were done to try to fly.
  • Failed Flying Attempts – Information and images describing the attempts at flight that we not a success.

Wright Brothers

History of Aviation

  • Aviation History – Online museum that focuses on the historical events in aviation.
  • Aviation and Flight History – Helpful collection of information dealing with the history of aviation over the past century.
  • History of Aviation – Useful site that is a good resource on various areas of the history of aviation.
  • Naval Aviation History – Informative site run by the U.S. Navy covering the role of aviation in the Navy since 1911.
  • Aviation History Timeline – Listing of many important dates in the history of the advancements in aviation.
  • Aviation for Kids – Basic timeline of key events in the history of aviation dating back to the first kite.
  • Aviation History Timeline – Visual listing of many of the dates that helped to push the development of airplanes.

Famous Aviators

  • Golden Age of Aviation – Information on many of the most famous aviators of the early 20th Century including Lindbergh and Hughes.
  • Aviators of Bennett Field – Useful page with a summary of some of the aviators who flew out of Floyd Bennett Field including Earhart, Post and others.
  • Famous Female Aviators – Informative site with information on many of the influential female aviators in history.
  • List of Aviators – Useful resource continuing information on some of the most famous aviators in history.
  • Aviator Biographies – Listing of some of the more notable aviators and with brief biography for each.
  • World Famous Aviators – Information on some of the most famous pilots written for kids.

Airplane Advancements

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