Father of Modern Aviation
The Wright brothers were the inventors of the world’s first successful airplane. They were Wilbur and Orville Wright. Today I’m going to write about the younger one among them, Orville Wright, a man who changed the history of mankind and became the “father of Modern Aviation” alongside his brother Wilbur Wright. They are regarded as the pioneers of aviation.
Orville was born on 19th of August 1871 in Dayton, Ohio, United States to Mr. Milton Wright and Mrs. Susan Catherine Koener Wright. He had six siblings. Although Orville was a mischievous and curious boy from his young age, his family helped him to develop his skills and later to become an inventor who changed the history of mankind. One day in the year 1878, his father “Milton” bought him a model of a toy helicopter and it was made of cork, bamboo and paper. That helicopter used a rubber band to twirl its twin blades. Orville and his brother were fascinated by the toy, and that gave rise to the lifelong passion about aeronautics in the minds of these two brothers. Orville studied at Dayton Ohio Central High School but he didn’t pay much attention to his studies.
Orville was more interested in hobbies outside the classroom than school. He made kites on his own. Suddenly he dropped out of high school during his senior years and opened a print shop. Having worked in a print shop over the summer, he quickly went to work designing his own printing press for the shop. Later In 1889, Orville began publishing the “West Side News”, a weekly West Dayton newspaper where Wilbur, his brother, served as the paper’s editor. Everything was fine until Mrs. Susan Wright, their mother passed away in the same year. With their mother’s death, Orville’s sister Katharine took on the responsibilities of maintaining the household. The bond between Orville, Katharine and Wilbur was a strong one, and the siblings remained as a close trio throughout the majority of their lives.
However after his mother’s death, Orville and his brother Wilbur started to focus their attention on motor bicycles. In 1892 they opened a motor bicycle shop, where they sold and fixed the broken ones. Later in 1896 they designed their own motor bicycle, where their inventing career was actually born. Orville also invented a self-oiling wheel hub for their new motor bicycle design. Alongside working at their own bike station Orville and his brother Wilbur paid attention to the latest news about flying. They never lost their interest in aviation throughout their lives. When they heard the death of famous German aviator Otto Lilienthal, who died in a glider crash, the Wright brothers realized that, with better designs, human flight was possible. Then the Wright brothers took their work to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where heavy winds were more conducive to flying.
Orville alongside his brother Wilbur, started to do their own experiments. They observed how birds were using their wings to balance their bodies, when they were flying. Using the concepts of “wing warping” and the movable rudder, the brothers were able to develop a design that surpassed all flying machines designed before them. The 17th of December 1903 was that historical day in which the Wright brothers succeeded in making the first free, controlled flight of a power-driven airplane. They made four flights on that day and the longest was over a distance of 852 feet.
Wright Brothers’ 1903 Aeroplane Kitty Hawk in First Flight
This is how the news spread rapidly throughout the U.S.A.
Wilbur and Orville Wright standing with the Wright Flyer II in May 1904 at Huffman Prairie, Ohio, USA.
Although the US government was not interested in funding the flying experiments due to several unsuccessful attempts in the past. But with much effort the Wright brothers were able to gain the support of the government and the army. Orville flew for six minutes with Wilbur as his passenger on the 25th of May 1910. It was the first and only flight the brothers made together. On the same day, Orville was lucky enough to take his old father out for the first and only flight of his life.
Orville (left side) and Wilbur (right side) in 1909
The Wright brothers sold their first successful plane for $30,000. Later Wilbur went to Europe and Orville started to work for the US military in Washington D.C. Things went to the worst side when Wilbur died from Typhoid fever on 12th of May in 1912 at the age of 45. Without his brother as the business partner, Orville was forced to take on the presidency of the Wright company. He sold the company in 1915.
Wright brothers awarded patent on flying machine on January 19th, 1914. This photo was taken earlier when Wilbur was alive.
On the rest of life almost completely with aeronautics Orville Wright passed away on the 30th of January 1948, when he was at the age of 76 from a heart attack. He was buried at the Wright family plot in Dayton, Ohio.
On his birthday today, we all in Colombo Beacon present this short compliment to all interested readers on the remembrance of this great man, Orville Wright, who changed the history of the entire mankind alongside his brother Wilbur, with their invention of the first successful plane.
You can watch some quick videos about the Wright brothers by using the below links:
Design by – Shanaka Vishwantha
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