This is a story of two brothers—Orville and Wilbur Wright, who gave people ‘wings.’ But, it is also a story about how two determined humans, tried and tried irrespective of their failures and attained victory. It all started with fun and games when their father brought a helicopter made of cork, bamboo and paper powered it by a rubber band and flung it in the air. And, instead of quickly falling, it hovered in the air for a few moments and finally sank to the floor. This mesmerised the young boys and sparked their passion for aviation. And today, 17th December, marks the anniversary of their first successful flight in a heavier than air, mechanically propelled airplane.
How did it all begin?
1990: They test their 1900 glider with mixed success.
1901: They test their 1901 glider and it fails so bad that Orville Wright proclaims, “Not within a thousand years would man ever fly.” Little did they know what the future held for them.
1902: They make 700-1,000 successful glides with their 1902 glider.
And then they plan for a new flying machine that would be equipped with motor and propellers and four-cylinder engine. They began to assemble their 1903 machine with these changes.
December 14, 1903: Wilbur makes the first and unsuccessful attempt to fly with this power machine.
December 17, 1903: The world’s first controlled and sustained flight takes off. They take four flights, out of which the longest lasted for 59 seconds. But, after the fourth flight, the 1903 Flyer was destroyed due to a large gust of wind.
Then after a series of failures, unsuccessful flights and crashes…
May 25, 1910: Orville and Wilbur Wright take their first and only flight together.
1913: Orville begins tests of the aeroplane automatic stabiliser and the device was patented on October 14, 1916.
May 13, 1918: Orville makes his final flight as a pilot, flying an early 1912 model.
It is because of them humans have conquered the sky. Had they given up in their first failure, their dream would never have been a reality.
ThinkRight is now available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram
Read more: Men Who Recycle Plastic