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The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I or 1903 Flyer) was the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft.

The Wright Flyer

Design and development

The Flyer was based on the Wrights' experience testing gliders at Kitty Hawk between 1900 and 1902. Their last glider, the 1902 Glider, led directly to the design of the Flyer.

 

The Wrights built the aircraft in 1903 using giant spruce wood as their construction material. The wings were designed with a 1-in-20 camber. Since they could not find a suitable automobile engine for the task, they commissioned their employee Charlie Taylor to build a new design from scratch, effectively a crude gasoline engine. A sprocket chain drive, borrowing from bicycle technology, powered the twin propellers, which were also made by hand.

The Flyer was a bicanard biplane configuration. As with the gliders, the pilot flew lying on his stomach on the lower wing with his head toward the front of the craft in an effort to reduce drag. He steered by moving a cradle attached to his hips. The cradle pulled wires which warped the wings and turned the rudder simultaneously.

The Flyer's "runway" was a track of 2x4s stood on their narrow edge, which the brothers nicknamed the "Junction Railroad."

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The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I or 1903 Flyer) was the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft. It was designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903, near Kill Devil Hills, about four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, US. Today, the airplane is exhibited in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. The U.S. Smithsonian Institution describes the aircraft as "the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard."[2] The flight of Flyer I marks the beginning of the "pioneer era" of aviation.

 First flight
The Wright Flyer

In 1904, the Wrights continued refining their designs and piloting techniques in order to obtain fully controlled flight. Major progress toward this goal was achieved with a new Flyer in 1904 and even more decisively in 1905 with a third Flyer, in which Wilbur made a 39-minute, 24-mile (39 km) nonstop circling flight on October  While the 1903 Flyer was clearly a historically important test vehicle, its hallowed status in the American imagination has obscured the role of its two successors in the continuing development that led to the Wrights' mastery of controlled powered flight in 1905.

Wright Flyer : See below

  • History

    Role First airplane

    National origin United States

    Designer Orville and Wilbur Wright

    First flight December 17, 1903

    Number built 1

    Developed from Wright Glider

     

  • General info

    Manufactured 1903

    First flight December 17, 1903

    Owners and operators Wright Brothers

    Last flight December 17, 1903

    Flights 4

    Total hours 00:02

    Total distance 1,500 feet (0.45km)

  • Performance

    Crew: One

    Length: 21 ft (6 m) 1 in (6.43 m) Wingspan: 40 ft (12 m) 4 in (12.31 m)

    Height: 9 ft (3 m) 0 in (2.74 m)

    Empty weight: 605 lb (274 kg) Max. takeoff weight: 745 lb (338 kg)

    Powerplant: 1 × straight-4 water-cooled piston engine, 12 hp (9 kW), 170 lbs (77.3 kg), (2 Wright "Elliptical" props, 8 ft (2 m). 6in.,
    Maximum speed: 30 mph (48 km/h)

The Wright Flyer

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The Flyer's "runway" was a track of 2x4s stood on their narrow edge, which the brothers nicknamed the "Junction Railroad."

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