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The Almanac

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 17, the 351st day of 2002 with 14 to follow.
By United Press International

A Blast from the Past

A year ago on this date, U.S. officials said the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown but they believed they had destroyed his al-Qaeda terrorist network in Afghanistan. However, it became clear in a few days that hundreds of bin Laden's men were e
By United Press International

A Blast from the Past

The weekly UPI Blast from the Past for Dec. 16-22.
By United Press International

The Almanac

Today is Monday, Aug. 19, the 231st day of 2002 with 134 to follow.
By United Press International

A Blast from the Past

Today is July 27
By United Press International

The Almanac

Today is Saturday, July 27, the 208th day of 2002 with 157 to follow.
By United Press International

A Blast from the Past

Today is July 22.
By United Press International

Stories of Modern Science

SCALLOP SHELLS HOLD CLUES TO ANTARCTIC CLIMATE
ALEX CUKAN, UPI Science writer
Page 4 of 4
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Photos
Orville Wright
Orville Wright pilots the first flight as brother Wilbur runs alongside at 10:35 a.m. on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The plane had just left the track at left for a flight that lasted 12 seconds and went about 120 feet. The classic image of 100 years ago was shot by John Daniels after receiving a quick photography lesson from Orville. This was the only picture ever taken by Daniels, a member of the nearby Kill Devil Hills lifesaving station. (UPI Photo/John Daniels)
Wiki

The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903. In the two years afterward, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.

The brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became standard and remains standard on fixed-wing aircraft of all kinds. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on developing a reliable method of pilot control as the key to solving "the flying problem". This approach differed significantly from other experimenters of the time who put more emphasis on developing powerful engines. Using a small homebuilt wind tunnel, the Wrights also collected more accurate data than any before, enabling them to design and build wings and propellers that were more efficient than any before. Their first U.S. patent, 821,393, did not claim invention of a flying machine, but rather, the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine's surfaces.

They gained the mechanical skills essential for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice. From 1900 until their first powered flights in late 1903, they conducted extensive glider tests that also developed their skills as pilots. Their bicycle shop employee Charlie Taylor became an important part of the team, building their first aircraft engine in close collaboration with the brothers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Orville Wright."
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