Wilbur and Orville Wright

Wilbur and Orville Wright (HM2G2O)

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N 39° 46.609', W 86° 9.604'

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(WW: April 16, 1867 - May 30, 1912 | OW: August 19, 1871 - January 30, 1948)

Wilbur and Orville Wright were two of seven children of a church bishop and his wife and spent part of their childhood in Richmond, Indiana. The first aircraft they saw was a toy helicopter their father brought home from a business trip. After building and repairing presses, bicycles and other equipment, they read of early attempts to design flying machines. Early aircraft was wildly unsafe, crashing repeatedly and even killing their pilots. Realizing that flight control was more important than engine power, the Wrights studied previous inventors' designs and flight in nature in order to perfect their aircraft. They became the first human beings to pilot a controlled, engine-powered, heavier-than-air plane which they developed into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft.

Wilbur injured his head while playing hockey with friends. After he recovered, the formerly athletic, outgoing young man became withdrawn and decided not to attend Yale University.

Orville and Wilber designed and built a printing press, and launched their own printing business and The Westside News, a weekly publication. Orville was the publisher and Wilber became the editor.

Orville was a champion cyclist and the brothers opened wright Cycle Exchange, a bicycle shop to sell, repair

and rent the new popular mode of transportation.

After reading about glider flights and unpiloted powered aircraft, Wilbur wrote to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for information about aeronautics.

Watershet Moment

In 1903, after numerous experiments, the brothers succeeded in conducting four flights of a powered, piloted aircraft on December 17 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The longest flight lasted 59 seconds over 852 feet. Wilbur Wright served as pilot after winning the deciding coin toss.

After studying birds and other inventors' aircrafts, they designed the three-axis control system to steer aircrafts safely. They were granted U.S. Patent 821393 for a "Flying Machine."

The brothers incorporated the Wright Company to manufacture and sell aircraft. The company's factory was located in Dayton, Ohio, and its flight school was northeast of Dayton.
HM NumberHM2G2O
Placed ByCultural Trail Indianapolis
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 11:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 571929 N 4403323
Decimal Degrees39.77681667, -86.16006667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 46.609', W 86° 9.604'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 46' 36.54" N, 86° 9' 36.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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