Wilbur and Orville Wright were two brothers from Dayton Ohio who are known for the first successful controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. For the two years that followed, the two of them worked on the machine to create the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although they were not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, with countless examples from Hiram Maxim's steam-powered testbeds to Otto Lilienthal's gliders, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible. In fact, the very key to the Wright brothers' success is that their competitors focused on lift and power to make their aircraft ascend while trusting the aircraft would be inherently stable. The Wright brothers on the other hand focused on control with the idea that there is no point getting to the air if you can't be confident that you can reliably control the vehicle once you do that.
What many people do not realize is how fast aeronautic innovation was in the past century. While Wilbur died in 1912, Orville died in 1948 — which means he lived to see the first turbojet planes, the planes used to destroy two cities, and died two years after a plane successfully broke the sound barrier.
The Wright Brothers in popular culture
- The Wright brothers were portrayed by the Wilson brothers (Luke and Owen) in the 2004 version of Around the World in 80 Days.
- Time Squad had the episode "If It's Wright, It's Wrong", where the Wright Brothers had gotten sidetracked with a subpar stuntshow rather than flight, despite having drawn up plans for the first plane but seemingly forgotten all about it. They complete their iconic first flight after Tuddrussel accidentally destroys their tight rope act while they're using the prototype plane as a balancing pole
- I Am Weasel reveals that the plane wasnt invented by the Wright Brothers, it was invented by The Wrong Brothers. The first plane we know was invented by Baboon Wrong, while Weasel Wrong invented all kinds of advanced aircraft (but unfortunately forgot to invent fuel for them). The Wright Brothers were accidentally credited with the invention because Orville Wright ended up in Baboons plane during a race and got all the attention.
- They appear in an episode of Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, where they teach Xavier and Yadina about mistakes helping you learn.