Wright Flyer

The "LEGO®-fied" plane you see before you is a slightly truncated version of the original Wright Flyer. But all the components are present and correct. In 1892, brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright had opened a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, US. Repairing as well as selling cycles, they honed their mechanical skills. They also kept up-to-date with the latest experiments in manned flight, such as Otto Lilienthal's work with gliders in Germany.

Wright Flyer

Record title: First power-driven flight

The First powered flight occurred near the Kill Devil Hills in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, US, at 10:35 a.m. on 17 December 1903, when Orville Wright flew the 9-kW (12-hp) chain-driven Flyer I (aka Wright Flyer) for 120 ft (36.5 m). He maintained an airspeed of 30 mph (48 km/h), a ground speed of 6.8 mph (10.9 km/h) and an altitude of 8–12 ft (2.4–3.6 m) for about 12 seconds. The Flyer I, which was constructed by Orville and his brother Wilbur, is now exhibited in the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, US.

Wright Flyer

Dimensions and details

  • Bicycle spoke wire was used as rigging to strengthen the struts 
  • The wings were covered with muslin to make them smoother and so improve aerodynamic efficiency 
  • Spruce and ash wood were used for the aircraft’s framework 
  • Total length of the Wright Flyer: 6.6 m (21 ft 11 in)
  • Designed and carved by Wilbur, the laminated-spruce propellers were curved, to provide more thrust. They also rotated in opposite directions, to improve stability in the air
  • Total wing area: (47 m²) (510 sq ft) 
  • 1.8-m (6-ft) struts between wings

Wright Flyer up close

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