Wilbur Wright the Father of Modern Aviation



Wilbur Wright the Father of Modern Aviation
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The airline industry is highly unique and complex. The paper will present an overview of the field of aviation in its early invention. In the past, people have been fascinated with the idea of flight. The conceptualization of the idea of flying among the birds came into reality in the twentieth century when Wilbur Wright and his brother Orville invented the first flight after some years of research. The life of Wilbur and his brother Orville since they were young had a positive influence to the invention. Today, the invention of the airplane has improved the modern transportation especially long distances.

Wilbur Wright the Father of Modern Aviation
Wilbur Wright was born and brought up in Indiana. In the family of five children, he was the middle child. Their father was a preacher who went out frequently, and in his coming back he would bring with him small toys for his children (Howard, 2013). The turning point for his children to coming up with inventing a flight is when the father came home with a small model helicopter for the boys. Wilbur became fascinated with the helicopter toy, and he developed a lifelong love of flying and aeronautics.
Wilbur used to be a bright and studious child. He had a robust and an outgoing personality and had planned to attend Yale University after high school. But in 1885-86 winters, his dream of attending Yale University was cut short when he had an accident after being injured in a hockey game. He was hit with a stick on the face. Though he was healed, he plunged into depression because he did not receive his high school diploma, meaning he will not attend college (Howard, 2013). Because he could not go to college, he remained at home reading books that were in their library. To show that they were not idle, the two brothers started their own newspaper called the West Side News. Wilbur was the editor while his brother was the publisher. The two also had the passion for bicycles which then, they opened a bike shop where they fix and sell their own design.
The idea of developing an airplane came when they followed the research of Lilienthal, a German aviator and their normal job in the mechanical projects. The two started their own experiment with flight after the death of Lilienthal, a person who was helping them in research. Because of their love to do things with their own design, they settled to Kitty Hawk, a place in North Carolina which is known to have strong winds. While at Kitty Hawk, they observed how birds angled their wings for control and balance, as they were figuring on how to design wings for the flight, emulating the bird’s wings, they developed a concept called wing warping. They added a moveable rubber to it and came up with a plane. They made an extraordinary achievement by flying the first free, power driven and one that is heavier than air plane. Wilbur flew the plane for 59 seconds covering 852 feet. The move became their ever happiest moments despite them not recognized even by their fellow flight experts (Crouch & Jakab, 2003).
Wilbur moved to Europe to look for the market of their ideas. He became fame in France as found a more receptive audience. While in France, he continued in making many flights and give rides to diplomats, officials, and journalists. Because of high demand and much work, his brother Orville joined him in Europe together with their younger sister. While in Europe, they became more famous, hosted by heads of states and Royals and constantly featured in the press. They then went back to the United States after selling the airplanes in Europe; they became wealthy businessmen, taking contracts for planes in the United States and Europe.
Wilbur and his brother Orville had a close relationship, and they always took shared credit for their innovations. According to McFarland and Renstrom (1950), Wilbur had sharp instincts, business mind making him the executive of the activities. They started their company called Wright Company in 1909 to capitalize on their invention of the practical airplanes. When Wilbur died in 1912 due to typhoid, Orville sold the company which was then merged to form Wright-Martin Company. It was estimated that the Wright Company itself had built approximately 120 airplanes across different models.
Many of the papers of Wright Company today are in Seattle Museum of Flight and others are held by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. to be used as references and teaching for the future innovations. The discoveries and innovations of Wilbur and Orville have become the foundation of modern aeronautics. The invention of flight has enhanced oversea travel and the fastest means of travel. Currently, many people fly on commercial airplanes in traveling long distances at a very short period. Moreover, planes have become one of the important forms of technology that is used to turn the tides of war. Wilbur and Orville reached for the sky and flew away from the expectations.

Crouch, T. D., & Jakab, P. L. (2003). The Wright brothers and the invention of the aerial age. Washington, D.C: National Geographic Society
Howard, F. (2013). Wilbur and Orville: A Biography of the Wright Brothers. Courier Corporation.
McFarland, M. W., & Renstrom, A. G. (1950). The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions, 7(4), 22-34.

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