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STEM Glam Gallery: Wright Brothers

This week, we are honoring two brilliant men from the past, the legendary Wright Brothers, inventors of the world’s first successful airplane.

Story behind their success:

Fascinated by the toy helicopter their father brought home, young Orville and Wilbur took an interest in flight and spent their childhood building kites and helicopters. However, as they grew older, they could no longer spend as much time on their hobby and instead focused on their business ventures to earn money. They eventually found a niche in the bicycle business with their Wright Cycle Company and successfully launched their own brand. Now armed with money and time, the Wright brothers began to do serious research on aerodynamics and devoted themselves to solve the problems of flight. Their mechanical experience with bicycle repairs helped immensely as they built a wind tunnel to conduct experiments and developed their first designs of the aircraft. To test their models, the pair travelled to a beach at Kitty Hawk (chosen for its strong winds that added lift) several times and recorded detailed data on their experiments. They would then improve their model based on their analyses and made further conclusions. Finally, after 13 years of continuous effort, in 1903, the Wright brothers achieved the very first powered flight in the world and proved that the skies are, in fact, not a limit for mankind. As Orville Wright once said, “If birds can glide for long periods of time, then… why can't I?”