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The Wright Brothers – Biography

Biography | 7-14 yrs | Interactive, Reading Pod

Orville and Wilbur Wright lived in the USA, in the mid 1800s. The 7 and 11 year old boys got a flying toy made from paper, cork and bamboo; a rubber band twirling its blades. They loved playing with it and hoped that one day they too would make something that would fly. They started pursuing their dream at an early age, as Orville sold kites to raise money and Wilbur started to read about how birds flew.

Human Flight

They built a glider, which was like a large kite, and a human could fly in it for ten seconds. After repeated modifications and tries, Wilbur finally flew for 852 feet in 59 seconds.

Airplane Invention

Birds angle their wings for equilibrium and power. They used this to develop the wing warping concept. The brothers built a portable rudder too. They also had to learn to make an efficient propeller and a light engine.

Wright Brothers – First Flight

The brothers had tossed a coin to determine who would test their first plane, the Flyer first. Wilbur had won the coin toss and had attempted to pilot the Flyer but had failed.
Orville was the Flyer’s pilot three days later. It traveled in air for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on Dec 17, 1903.

They secretly built a plane that could fly 25 miles at 40m/hr. It was a reporter who saw their talent in 1908 and thus the Wright brothers were discovered in the US.

Their father never allowed them to fly together except for once. When Orville first took him up in the sky, he was 82. Still, he urged his son to take the aircraft higher.

In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt declared Orville Wright’s birthday, August 10, to be National Aviation Day. Neil Armstrong carried a piece of the Flyer with him to the moon.

To read more interesting biographies of famous people, browse though our huge collection of short biographies for kids.