How Was the First Airplane Made?

Introduction

The Wright brothers designed and developed the first airplane in the early 1900s. The first airplane was made after a lot of trial and error, and to know how the first airplane was made, you have to know the history that went into it. Before they made their first airplane, they developed a series of gliders that helped them study the wind and understand how objects moved in the sky. The Wright brothers studied birds and how their wings soared in the wind. While watching the birds, they noticed how their wings changed shape in order to maneuver and turn in the sky. They used this technique to create wings they would use for the aircrafts.

Gliders

Over 3 years, the Wright brothers developed and flew a series of unmanned gliders. These flights proved to them that controlling an airplane was going to be the most difficult obstacle in their way. In Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1900, the Wright brothers flew the first manned glider. It was a 50-lb. biplane with a 17-foot wingspan. After flying this glider, the Wright brothers decided to build a bigger glider with better landing gear. After launching their larger glider, they began to study the use of a movable tail that would help with balance, and implementing a propeller that would enhance the weight of the aircraft.

The Flyer

After implementing all of their experiences from the glider and doing research on power and balance, they created the Flyer. The Flyer was the first airplane made, weighing 700 lbs. The plane worked because of the wing warping they learned from watching birds. When the airplane turned left, the wings on the right side lifted. The Wright brothers created a 3-axis control that is still used today, and was vital in the making of the first airplane. The 3-axis control consists of a left and right, up and down, and leaning from one side to another. This is called banking. On December 17, 1903, the Flyer flew for 12 seconds--the first successfully flown airplane in history.