American inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright, or more familiar names, the Wright brothers, invented the aircraft and made their names in history in gold. In 1903, the brothers made their first motorized and steerable aircraft, and soon after that they made their first flight on a fully functional aircraft and opened the doors of a whole new era at the beginning of the new century.
How was their childhood and life?
The eldest of the two brothers, Wilbur was born on April 16, 1867, in Millville, Indiana, as the third child of the family. His father, Milton Wright, was a Protestant priest and his mother was Susan Catherine Koerner. His brother Orville, who was born in 1871, was his best friend despite four years of age.
Surprisingly, neither of these inventor brothers, who would sign an invention that would change the course of the world, had not been educated after high school. But unlike them, Katherine, the fifth and youngest child in the family, was the only one in the family to attend college.
Their father, Milton Wright, often traveled to preach, and on the way back, he brought children toys. In 1878, when he returned on a mission to the church, he brought a helicopter model that would change the lives of his children. Made of cork, bamboo and paper, the model even had propellers that could be rotated by means of a pack rubber. Inspired by a helicopter designed by Alphonse Penaud, the pioneer of French aviation, the toy was the beginning of a lifelong flying passion for Wilbur and Orville.
Wilbur was a very diligent and intelligent student. The young Wright, who was noted for his outward-looking and active personality, was preparing to enroll at Yale University in 1886 when he graduated from high school.
However, Wilbur was seriously injured in a hockey match, and even after recovering from his disability, he could not recover for a long time, and eventually got into a depression that would cause him to cancel his university plans. The young man spent most of his time reading a book at his parents’ home, while also taking care of his mother who had tuberculosis.
When their mother, Suzan Koehner, died in 1889, the two brothers began publishing their own newspaper, West Side News. While Wilbur was the editor of the newspaper, Orville was the publisher. In 1892, the Wright brothers opened a bicycle shop. In addition to repairing bicycles, they also sold bicycles that they designed themselves, which could be considered their first production.
How was the Airplane Invented?
The Wright brothers, always designing different mechanical projects and aware of the scientific research of the time, also followed closely the German aviator Otto Lilienthal. When Lilienthal was killed in a glider accident, the American brothers decided to resume their flight research.
So they went to Kitty Hawk in North Carolina, known for its strong winds, to produce and test their own designs. In attempting to design wings suitable for flight, the brothers observed the birds’ angles of tilting their wings in the air and proposed a new term of flight, called the wing slope, to copy these movements.
Developing a rudder to control this slope, the Wright brothers invented a controllable flying machine that was completely separate from the gliders ever built. In December 1903, Wilbur made a test drive for the first airplane.
Unfortunately, these achievements will indeed be unbelievable to both the press and those working in the field of flight, making it not easy to be recognized worldwide. They didn’t find what they were looking for in the United States for a long time. Thus, in 1908 Wilbur Wright went to Europe to promote his inventions in other countries. It was here that the inventor brothers achieved the reputation they deserved.
How Famous Are They?
After frustration in the United States, Wilbur found what he was looking for in France, where he conducted test flights in the presence of many politicians and journalists. In 1909, Orville took his younger brothers Katherine and went to Europe with his brother.
The Wright brothers, who quickly became famous in Europe, were frequently hosted by royal members and appeared in the press. Wilbur and Orville, who started selling their first aircraft in Europe, returned to their homeland with fame and became rich businessmen with the sales agreements they signed on two continents in the following years.
The two brothers remained close throughout their lives and shared the income of their inventions equally. But behind the scenes of course there was a division of labor. Compared to his brother Orville, Wilbur Wright was more interested in accounting, marketing and managing the company.
Deaths and Heritage
Wilbur fell ill during a trip to Boston in 1912. Wright, who was diagnosed as typhoid fever, died at the age of 45 in his parents’ home in Ohio. His father Milton Wright wrote about it in his diary: bir A short life full of important consequences. A relentless intelligence, a solemn temperament, an independent spirit, and great humility. It’s a life that sees the truth, and that chase of truth. En