The Wright Brothers: How They Became Aviation Pioneers


The Wright Brothers are famous as the inventors of manned, controlled flight. Their first successful flight, in an airplane of their own invention, as at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903. While people in the United States and Europe had been experimenting in human flight for decades, the Wright Brothers were the first to build an aircraft that used controls to adjust the wings. It was this invention that made sustained, controlled flight in a heavier than air vehicle possible. Though they fought for years for official recognition, as they did their flight experiments in relative secrecy and few people believed what they accomplished was possible, they were eventually granted the recognition they deserved.
The Wright Brothers were named Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville (1871-1948), and were two of seven children born to Milton and Susan Wright (these children included fraternal boy and girl twins who died in infancy). Orville and Wilbur never married or had children, with Wilbur once stating he did not have the time or monetary resources for both inventing and a wife. Their sister Katherine married in her 50’s and never had children, leaving only their elder brothers, Reuchlin and Lorin Wright to marry and have children to carry on the Wright family line into the present day...