Orville and Wilbur Wright – Famous Homeschoolers

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Aviation Pioneers

Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright were aviation pioneers and inventors who were born near Millville, Indiana.  They showed mechanical genius from boyhood. These two home-taught boys opened a bicycle sales and repair shop in Dayton, Ohio and a very young age (around 17) and soon were making and selling their own bicycles.

They loved to invent and had read about experiments with gliders which sparked their interest in flight, and they built their first glider in 1899, a biplane kite with wings that could be twisted mechanically. In 1900, the two brothers made their first trip to Kitty Hawk, NC to conduct glider experiments on the sand hills. They built their first wind tunnel and prepared their own tables of lift-pressures for various wing surfaces and wind speeds. They also built a powerful four-cylinder engine and an efficient propeller December 1903 Orville piloted it on a flight of 12 seconds and 120 feet; Wilbur flew later in the day, staying aloft for 59 seconds to cover 852 feet. The brothers built two sturdier, more reliable planes over the next two years, and in 1906 received a US patent for a powered aircraft. Initially they sold their plane to the British and French governments, but in 1908 the US War Department contracted for a Wright flying machine for the army. In 1909 they formed the American Wright Co and proceeded to manufacture their improved planes and to train pilots.  These two brothers made impossibility a reality, and travelers worldwide have enjoyed the benefits for years since.

Author: Michael Leppert

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