Air travel is a huge part of the modern world, and it was not easy to get where we are today. Although it was difficult, with people like the wright brothers, it was possible. The Wright Brothers grew up very fascinated by flying machines. They didn’t even have proper engineering so they had to teach themselves most of what they used to create the first heavier than air flying machine. It was a great success but they did have many failures before and after the first successful flight.
Due to the desire and need for aircraft in the early 1900s, The Wright Brothers created and flew the first working heavier-than-air aircraft, resulting in a new era of transportation, warfare, and terrorism.
The Wright brothers had a weird childhood, and Wilbur and Orville had a nice family. Their parents’ names were Milton and Susan. Milton was a bishop in a church, he was often not at home because of business with the church, but he would always send many letters and gifts home.
When he came back from one of his trips in 1878, he brought with him a rubber band-powered helicopter, and the boys loved it and built their versions. In 1884, the wrights, moved to Dayton, Ohio, to be at the center of the United Brethren Church. Wilbur had to push college off to the side soon after to take care of his mother who became ill with tuberculosis. Their mother ended up dying and Orville dropped out of high school to open a print shop.
Orville then became the editor of the “West Side News”, but they couldn’t compete with larger newspapers so they went back to being regular printers. In 1894, the brothers got into the bicycling crazy and became not only printers but bicycle repair and salesmen. Two years later, they started making their bikes. By this time, the brothers we not very worried about the money that they were making because they were very interested in moving forward in making an aircraft. (Wright-Brothers.org)
The Wright brothers grew up very fascinated by flying machines, mainly because of a helicopter toy designed by Alphonse Pénaud, but also from things like Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machines. For a very long time, people had been trying to create an airplane, but nobody was getting too far with it. Nothing was advancing. People like Otto Lilienthal had been experimenting with things like gliders (no motor). The Wright Brothers read his writings and used some of his findings for their inventions. He later died in a test flight. The brothers noticed that a big reason that many of these aircraft were failing was that they all didn’t have suitable controls. The brothers were able to advance their designs by making it so you could steer by twisting the wings of the plane. All of these people had a big influence on the Brothers wanting to progress with their flying machines. (Kinkade)
Finally on December 17th, 1903, the first aircraft had been flown by without the aid of a balloon by Wilbur and Orville Wright. This flight took place in Kitty Hawk, on the coast of North Carolina. The brothers were able to fly their invention for three miles and then were able to safely land the craft. Wilbur wright was the only one in the plane during the flight and therefore was the one steering it. The brothers launched the plane by going down a platform that they had created on a dune. After the launch, the airplane was propelled by a gasoline engine that was on the floor of the craft. During the flight, when Wilbur had passed the one-mile mark, Orville said that the invention was declared a success, but it wasn’t until after the third mile that Wilbur was looking for a place to land. The plane was so smooth while landing that it was compared to a bird (“Airship Flight”).
Although the first flight was a success, it created the need for more test flights. The brothers were lucky that the first flight went so well because, another one of the first few flights, went very wrong. Orville was severely injured and the passenger was left dead (McCullough). Death and Injury were just one effect of the first flight of the Wright brothers. The effects weren’t all bad though, because of their huge success, it made progress in the designs of aircraft go very fast. They had many more successful flights with better aircraft and eventually got to the point where they were getting high off of the ground. These different effects happened very rapidly.
As we flew into the 21st Century, the enduring effects of the Wright Brothers’ first flight came with us. The airplane industry has become one of the biggest and most important industries in the world. Airplanes have been used for many things including travel, transport of goods, and warfare. The main use of airplanes now has been travel. Before the airplane, you would have to drive everywhere and that took a long time and would most likely be uncomfortable. With airplanes, you can cut that time by more than half because you have a straight line to your destination and you are going at much faster speeds. This also applies to transporting goods. Airplanes have changed warfare because they gave warfare a whole new branch of the military and gave different tactics (Thecandidadiet). There have also been some negative long-term effects. One of these, and maybe the most important one, is terrorism. Airplanes had created a way for terrorist groups to easily kill very large amounts of people at once. A very well-known example of this is the attacks on 9/11/2001. These attacks killed thousands of people and have forever changed our country. Because of this attack, Airports have become one of the most heavily guarded sites when it comes to terrorist attacks (Flintoff). Even though we have much more security with airplanes now, a recent attack in Yemen shows that terrorists will get their hands on planes no matter how difficult. This shows how desirable airplanes are for terrorism.
In conclusion, the Wright Brothers were the first people to successfully fly an airplane. At the time, this was a huge achievement and there were some failures, but these were nothing compared to the positive and negative impacts that the airplane would have on the world today.