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.
|National origin||United States|
|Designer||Orville and Wilbur Wright|
|First flight||December 17, 1903|
|Developed from||Wright Glider|
|Developed into||Wright Flyer II|
Wright Flyer III
|Other name(s)||Kitty Hawk, Flyer I, 1903 Flyer|
|Type||Experimental canard biplane|
|Manufacturer||Wright Cycle Company|
|Owners and operators||Wright Brothers|
|Last flight||December 17, 1903|
|Status||On display in the National Air & Space Museum|
|Preserved at||The Smithsonian|
As the 100th anniversary on December 17, 2003, approached, the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission along with other organizations opened bids for companies to recreate the original flight. The Wright Experience, led by Ken Hyde, won the bid and painstakingly recreated reproductions of the original Wright Flyer, plus many of the prototype gliders and kites as well as several subsequent Wright aircraft. The completed Flyer reproduction was brought to Kitty Hawk and pilot Kevin Kochersberger attempted to recreate the original flight at 10:35 am December 17, 2003, on level ground near the bottom of Kill Devil Hill. Although the aircraft had previously made several successful test flights, sour weather, rain, and weak winds prevented a successful flight on the actual anniversary date. Hyde’s reproduction is displayed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
The JSC Sukhoi Company (Russian: ПАО «Компания „Сухой“») is a major Russian aircraft manufacturer, headquartered in Begovoy District, Northern Administrative Okrug, Moscow, and designs both civilian and military aircraft. It was founded by Pavel Sukhoi in 1939 as the Sukhoi Design Bureau (OKB-51, design office prefix Su). The Russian government merged Sukhoi with Mikoyan, Ilyushin, Irkut, Tupolev, and Yakovlev as a new company named United Aircraft Corporation.