Facts About the Wright Brothers– Did you know that the Wright brothers, the inventors of the airplane, made their first successful flight more than a century ago?
Many people are surprised to learn that Wilbur and Orville Wright were not actually from aviation-rich countries like the United States or France.
In fact, they were from Ohio, in the heart of America. Despite this, the Wright brothers managed to become some of the most famous aviators in history.
Learn more about their story and how they came to invent one of humanity’s most important inventions.
Most Interesting Facts About the Wright Brothers
Wilbur and Orville Wright were two of seven children born to Milton and Susan Wright. The brothers had six younger siblings: Reuchlin, Lorin, Katharine, twins Otis and Ida, and Carrie.
Today, the Wright Cycle Company store is located in downtown Richmond Hill, an urban village in Queens County, New York where the brothers as boys would sell and build their own creations.
The Wright Brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers who are credited with inventing the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903.
From 1905 to 1907, they developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft.
Orville Wright remained in the U.S. during WWI and became a key spokesman for aviation issues.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1919, which is the highest award for bravery that can be awarded to a member of the United States armed forces. Orville died on January 30th, 1948 in Dayton, Ohio of a heart ailment.
Wilbur Wright was a key figure in U.S. aeronautical progress and is the only person to have two federally recognized United States Historic Landmarks named in his honor.
Wilbur died on May 30th, 1912 near Dayton after a crash while flying the Wright Flyer III.
The Wright Brothers have been honored by having many things named after them, including airports, museums, streets, and more.
In Ohio alone, there are six places that have been named after the Wright Brothers:
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Wright State University, Wright-B Flyer LLC, the Wright Brothers Monument, the Wright Brothers Aviation Center at Wilmington Air Park, and the Wright Cycle Company.
The brothers were not the first to conceive of heavier-than-air flying machines or even the first to build and fly them.
Their unique achievement was their ability to invent means of controlling the movements of such machines so that they were able to fly in any direction, even against strong winds.
Early on, their pioneering efforts attracted little attention, but with each new success, their fame spread rapidly.
Their first public flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, created intense interest among aviators and, thereafter, throughout the world.
In the United States, their efforts were recognized with a congressional appropriation to cover pre-announced prizes awarded by an official board for achievements in flight.
In 1973, Orville Wright was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and Wilbur was inducted posthumously in 1974.
The Wright Brothers were honored on a US postage stamp and on currency: the $20 bill featuring Wilbur and Orville is depicted with their airplane, and also featured above them is the inscription “First Flight.”
The Wrights’ father, Milton, built his own printer’s press, was a teacher of bookkeeping, and was director of the local town library.
He befriended Nancy Maria Cornell in 1859, when she was 16. The family moved away in 1863, but Milton corresponded with Maria for the rest of his life.
Milton’s brother Otis did not remain in Le Roy but later settled in Springboro, Ohio, selling insurance and raising bees.
The brothers were close and would often visit each other. In 1878, when Orville was 6 years old and Wilbur was 7, their father died of typhoid fever.
The boys were educated at home by their mother, who stressed the importance of a good education.
The Wright Brothers had five siblings: Lorin (born in 1874), Katharine (1875), Orville (1871), Wilbur (1867), and Reuchlin (1862).
In 1878, the family moved to Richmond, Indiana. The Wrights were in poor health at this time, and Milton turned his attention to setting up a new business and studying religion.
In Richmond, the brothers attended school and started to experiment with mechanical devices.
The Wright Brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871–January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867–May 30, 1912), were two American aviators who are credited with inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane.
The brothers successfully flew their aircraft four times on December 17, 1903, near Kill Devil Hills, about four miles (6 km) south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
The Wrights designed and built their flying machine in Dayton, Ohio. They started their first attempt to fly at Kitty Hawk on June 4, 1900, but were disappointed with the result.
On the second day, they managed to fly 4,000 ft (1,200 m), but crashed into the sand because Wilbur ran out of control and turned too sharply.
The first flight by Orville was test piloting the Flyer II at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina on May 14, 1908.