Two Brothers who Conquered the Skies -Wright Brothers
Wright, Orville and Wilbur, aviation pioneers invented the first successful self-propelled airplane in 1880 and 90s.
Orville Wright (1871 to 1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867 to 1912) popularly known as “Wright Brothers” were the sons of Milton Wright, a clergyman.
When we travel in cool comfort in the pleasure of euphoric mood, up in the sky about 25,000 ft. high, the gesture of gratitude should go to the above pioneers.
In 1878 the father gave the sons a toy made of paper, bamboo and cork which would fly up to the ceiling in a room. An idea flashed in their mind whether a bigger structure would fly to greater heights and longer distances. They started making kites and gliders.
As a hobby, both brothers started printing news items, magazines.
Later they started manufacturing bicycles,
The original enthusiasm to make flying objects reigned supreme in their mind. Otto and Gustav Lilienthal of Germany were experimenting on similar lines to devise flying machines..
In 1896 Otto Lilienthal died in a gliding attempt. This gave a rude shock to Wright brothers.
Scientist Wilbur thought the flying machine should be equipped with wings capable of moving up and down during the flight. Both brothers went to Carolina for conducting trials; in 1889 a kite- shaped biplane was designed.
A beach near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina was selected for their flight experiments, after consulting the weather bureau. In 1902 about 700 glider flights were organized at Kitty Hawk.
In 1903 Scientist Orville Wright made the historic flight on a 12 h.p. biplane; the plane reached a height of 10 feet and stayed in air for 12 seconds covering a distance of 37 metres. Later Wilbur flew a distance of 850 feet in one minute. Those were the small beginnings.
Scientist Wilbur went to France in 1908 and made flights up to 91 metres. Death snatched him after an attack of typhoid.
In 1909 the American Wright company was established in New York. The mantle fell on Orville after his brother’s death; thus the baton was passed over/handed over to Orville. He set up the Wright Aeronautical Laboratory in 1916.
Scientist Orville could reach flying speeds up to 300 miles per hour. Present day is the age of supersonic jets with a speed even faster than the speed of sound!
Rolls Royce is still a familiar name on the engines of the plane.
The original plane used by Wright Brothers for their historic first flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C. is preserved in the National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C. as a relic.
B-24 Liberator, 1938.
B-17 Flying Fortress World War II bomber – Flying speed 406 km/h, altitude 7,620 m. (25000 ft).
B-29 Superfortress dropped atomic bombs in 1945 at Hiroshima, Nagasaki.
B-52 Strato Fortress in 1950s.
B-1 bomber, Rockwell international supersonic bomber 1963-74.
International passenger flights :
Boeing Jumbo Jet 737, 747 Air bus, Tristar, Concord
Indian scene :
The first scheduled service was inaugurated in 1932 by J.R.D. Tata flying mail and passengers between Karachi, Ahmedabad, Bombay and Madras.
1933 Lores Bonney: First woman to fly from Australia to England.
Present day :
Air India, International flights.
Indian Airlines, Domestic flights.
In May 1991 Rajiv Gandhi himself piloted his plane on the historic ‘doom flight’ before the blast of his body with a bomb which occurred in South India while in preparation to address a meeting.