Wright Brothers

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Orville and Wilbur Wright began by designing and building series of gliders; No. 3 began with twin-fixed rudders, was modified to have twin steerable rudders, and then single steerable rudder. Completed first powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer, in 1903 in which, on 17 Dec 1903, they became first humans to fly a heavier-than-air craft that could (1) take off under its own power, (2) fly under the operator's control, and (3) land at a point not lower than the take-off point. Subsequently designed two more Flyers, 1904-1905, and a hydroplane boat, 1907.

During these five years [1903–1908] enormous progress in flying was made by other men, while discussions about the mysterious Wrights raged over the world. But the brothers refused to make flights for the public to see; they would not enter competitions, nor publihs details about the construction of their machine. [...]
The chief reason for believing their claims in this period was the word of Octave Chanute, foremost American authority, that he had actually seen them fly, and that he believed their assertions to be completely truthful.[1]

In 1905 the Wrights offered to sell airplanes to the U.S. Army, which turned them down. They subsequently marketed airplanes to European powers, at first with no success. Finally the Wrights reached a deal with the U.S. after winning the bid to fulfill Signal Corps Specification Number 486.[2]

One of the earliest endorsements of the Wright brothers came from the Aero Club of America which issued a statement in 1906 congratulating them "on their great achievement in devising, constructing, operating a successful man-carrying dynamic flying machine."[3]

In 1908, the brothers began marketing their aircraft under the name Wright & Co. and in early 1909, they formally organized The Wright Co. to manufacture aircraft.

Also in 1908 Wilbur publicly demonstrated a Wright airplane in France; soon after, Orville demonstrated the Wright Military Flyer at Fort Myer, Virginia. In November, the Aéro-Club de France held a banquet in their honor.

By 1909, if not earlier, we have their occupations given as per se Industrialists.[4]

The brothers built another glider in 1911.

City: Dayton, OH

Biographical info

The brothers first went into business together as newspaper editors, founding the West Side Press of Dayton in 1889. They later also published The Evening Item and Snapshots.[5].

The Wrights read Marey's Animal Magnetism in the library of their father, a bishop.[6]. They subsequently wrote to the Smithsonian in 1899 and received a box of useful literature.


International affiliates


Patents whose inventor or applicant is Wilbur Wright

Patents whose inventor or applicant is Orville Wright

Letters sent by Wilbur Wright

Letters sent by Orville Wright

Letters received by Wilbur Wright

Letters received by Orville Wright

Letters received by Wright Brothers



  • SD309-310;


  • "Wright Brothers and Their Flyer", Flight, 2 October 1909, p. 613. Mentions circling the Statue of Liberty; lawsuit activity; and a new 700-acre Wright aerodrome at Tippecanoe, Ohio, near Springfield.

Names Orville Wright; Wilbur Wright
Birth date
Death date
Countries US
Locations Dayton, OH
Occupations bicycle mechanic, inventor, shop owner
Tech areas Wings, Airplane, Propellers, Wind tunnel
Affiliations Wright Cycle Co., Wright Company
Wikidata id Q35820