Wright brothers

The Wright brothers
Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1905
Other namesWill and Orv
The Bishop's boys
Known forInventing, building, and flying the world's first successful airplane, the Wright Flyer
Home townDayton, Ohio
Parent(s)Milton Wright
Susan Catharine Wright
RelativesKatharine Wright (sister)
Signature of Orville Wright    Signature of Wilbur Wright
Orville Wright
Born(1871-08-19)August 19, 1871
Dayton, Ohio
DiedJanuary 30, 1948(1948-01-30) (aged 76)
Dayton, Ohio
Education3 years high school
OccupationPrinter/publisher, bicycle retailer/manufacturer, airplane inventor/manufacturer, pilot trainer
Wilbur Wright
Born(1867-04-16)April 16, 1867
Millville, Indiana
DiedMay 30, 1912(1912-05-30) (aged 45)
Dayton, Ohio
Education4 years high school
OccupationEditor, bicycle retailer/manufacturer, airplane inventor/manufacturer, pilot trainer

The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American aviators generally credited[1][2][3] with inventing and flying the world's first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904–05 the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

The brothers' breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium.[4][5][6][7] This method remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds.[8][9] From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on developing a reliable method of pilot control as the key to solving "the flying problem". This approach differed significantly from other experimenters of the time who put more emphasis on developing powerful engines.[10] Using a small homebuilt wind tunnel, the Wrights also collected more accurate data than any before, enabling them to design more efficient wings and propellers.[11][12] Their first U.S. patent did not claim invention of a flying machine, but a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine's surfaces.[13]

The brothers gained the mechanical skills essential to their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle such as a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice.[14] From 1900 until their first powered flights in late 1903 with the Wright Flyer, they conducted extensive glider tests that also developed their skills as pilots. Their shop employee Charlie Taylor became an important part of the team, building their first airplane engine in close collaboration with the brothers.

The Wright brothers' status as inventors of the airplane has been subject to counter-claims by various parties. Much controversy persists over the many competing claims of early aviators. Edward Roach, historian for the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, argues that they were excellent self-taught engineers who could run a small company, but they did not have the business skills or temperament to dominate the growing aviation industry.[15]


Wilbur (first) and Orville as children in 1876

The Wright brothers were two of seven children born to Milton Wright (1828–1917), of English and Dutch ancestry, and Susan Catherine Koerner (1831–1889), of German and Swiss ancestry.[16][17] Milton Wright's mother, Catherine Reeder, was descended from the progenitor of the Vanderbilt family and the Huguenot Gano family of New Rochelle, New York.[18] Wilbur was born near Millville, Indiana, in 1867; Orville in Dayton, Ohio, in 1871. The brothers never married. The other Wright siblings were Reuchlin (1861–1920), Lorin (1862–1939), Katharine (1874–1929), and twins Otis and Ida (born 1870, died in infancy). The direct paternal ancestry goes back to a Samuel Wright (b. 1606 in Essex, England) who sailed to America and settled in Massachusetts in 1636.[19]

None of the Wright children had middle names. Instead, their father tried hard to give them distinctive first names. Wilbur was named for Wilbur Fisk and Orville for Orville Dewey, both clergymen that Milton Wright admired. They were "Will" and "Orv" to their friends and in Dayton, their neighbors knew them simply as "the Bishop's kids", or "the Bishop's boys".

Because of their father's position as a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, he traveled often and the Wrights frequently moved — twelve times before finally returning permanently to Dayton in 1884. In elementary school, Orville was given to mischief and was once expelled.[20] In 1878 when the family lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, their father brought home a toy helicopter for his two younger sons. The device was based on an invention of French aeronautical pioneer Alphonse Pénaud. Made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl its rotor, it was about a foot long. Wilbur and Orville played with it until it broke, and then built their own.[21] In later years, they pointed to their experience with the toy as the spark of their interest in flying.[22]

Other Languages
العربية: الأخوان رايت
aragonés: Chirmans Wright
asturianu: Hermanos Wright
azərbaycanca: Rayt qardaşları
Bân-lâm-gú: Wright hiaⁿ-tī
беларуская: Браты Райт
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Райт (браты)
български: Братя Райт
bosanski: Braća Wright
brezhoneg: Breudeur Wright
Ελληνικά: Αδελφοί Ράιτ
español: Hermanos Wright
Esperanto: Fratoj Wright
euskara: Wright anaiak
ગુજરાતી: રાઈટ બંધુઓ
хальмг: Братья Райт
한국어: 라이트 형제
हिन्दी: राइट बंधु
hrvatski: Braća Wright
Bahasa Indonesia: Wright Bersaudara
íslenska: Wright-bræður
italiano: Fratelli Wright
latviešu: Brāļi Raiti
Lëtzebuergesch: Bridder Wright
lietuvių: Broliai Raitai
Lingua Franca Nova: Wright
मैथिली: राइट बन्धु
македонски: Браќа Рајт
मराठी: राइट बंधू
Bahasa Melayu: Wright bersaudara
Mirandés: Armanos Wright
монгол: Ах дүү Райт
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ရိုက်ညီနောင်
Nederlands: Gebroeders Wright
नेपाल भाषा: राईट दाजुकिजा
日本語: ライト兄弟
Napulitano: Frate Wright
norsk nynorsk: Wright-brørne
олык марий: Райт иза-шольо
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਰਾਇਟ ਭਰਾ
Piemontèis: Frej Wright
português: Irmãos Wright
română: Frații Wright
русский: Братья Райт
sicilianu: Frati Wright
Simple English: Wright brothers
slovenčina: Bratia Wrightovci
slovenščina: Brata Wright
српски / srpski: Браћа Рајт
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Braća Wright
татарча/tatarça: Rayt bertuğannar
українська: Брати Райт
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئاكا-ئۇكا رايتلار
Tiếng Việt: Anh em nhà Wright
吴语: 莱特兄弟
粵語: 萊特兄弟
中文: 莱特兄弟