Wright Brother Model Plane Kit
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The Wright Brothers - The Flyer
Late morning on December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville, successfully flew the first powered flight of a machine carrying a man. That day was the first day of the aviation age and, since then, man continued to push the envelope of flight.
The brother's machine, known as The Flyer, was made of spruce wood. Chains from bicycle technology drove its propellers. The power came from a straight-4 water-cooled piston engine.
The Flyer was a canard biplane meaning that the stabilizers (small wings) were in front of the double main wings. In order to fly the plane, the pilot layed down on his stomach held by a hip cradle. Using what's credited as the first fully functioning aircraft steering system, the pilot controlled The Flyer using a series of wires controlled by levers pulling on the warped wings and the rudders at the same time. Two particular parts of the control system distinguish The Flyer from modern commercial aircraft today:
The pilot steered The Flyer by sliding his hips from side-to-side. The cradle pulled on wires connected to the wings warping them as needed to make the proper turns.
In order to turn The Flyer during flight, the wings were warped or twisted so that one side of the aircraft gets more lift than the other side. Modern airplanes apply this concept through the use of ailerons.