Thursday, October 10, 2013

From Kite to Glider to Powered Flight!

Just in case you forgot, a kite is a tethered aircraft. When the Wright Brothers began developing a "Flying Machine," they started with a kite controlled by two lines. From 1900 until their first powered flight in 1903, they conducted extensive kite and glider tests that also developed their flying skills.

 The 1900 Wright Glider as a kite with no one aboard

Wilbur flying the 1902 glider with steerable single rudder

The 1901 Wright Glider just after Wilbur landed at Kill Devil Hills (note skid marks in the sand)

The first successful powered flight of a piloted aircraft was made by Orville Wright on December 17, 1903. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered a distance of 120 feet.

Go Orville!

The next two flights covered approximately 175 feet and 200 feet, by Wilbur and Orville respectively. Their altitude was about 10 feet above the ground. The fourth and final flight of the day was made by Orville and covered 852 feet; the time of the flight was 59 seconds.

A new era had begun!