Thursday, August 19, 2021

Orville Wright 150 -- August 19, 2021

Orville Wright, who with his brother Wilbur, built the first airplane capable of fully controlled flight, was born 150 years ago today, 19-August-1871. The two brothers grew up in Ohio and showed a great talent for mechanics, building a printing press and building and selling bicycles. They became interested in flying machines and approached their work using scientific methods. They built a wind tunnel and tested airfoil sections and realized that a propeller was a rotating wing. They built gliders to test their mechanism for three-axis control. On 17-December-1903, they flew the heavier than air Wright Flyer under control, taking off and landing without external assistance.

The brothers worked to improve their flying machines and build a business. Wilbur toured Europe and made many demonstration flights. Wilbur died of typhoid on 30-May-1912.

Orville sold the Wright Company in 1915. His last flight was on an early Lockheed Constellation in 1944. Orville died on 30-January-1948.

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