We remember and appreciate the ingenuity and imagination of Orville and Wilbur Wright and their first successful mechanically-powered flight.
By Redtail Air Adventures
In 1903, the Wright brothers made history by creating the first ever successful mechanically-powered airplane in North Carolina. December 17th is Wright Brothers Day, when we celebrate these two pioneers of aviation. At Redtail Air, we believe it’s important to remember and celebrate Orville and Wilbur Wright and their contribution to our industry. Thanks to their invention of the powered airplane, we are able to take flight today and see our amazing world from above.
Who Are the Wright Brothers?
Wilbur and Orville Wright were born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1867 and 1871, respectively. They bonded over their love of discovery and invention even from childhood, and their deep interest in aviation was sparked when their father gifted them a 50-cent helicopter toy as boys.
1896 was a pivotal year for the Wright Brothers. Orville fell ill with typhoid fever. Wilbur stuck by his brother’s side and began reading into the history of aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal. Lilienthal tragically died while experimenting with flight. Wilbur’s childhood passion for aviation was reignited, and Orville wasn’t far behind as he recovered from typhoid.
The brothers read all they could about gliders and flight theory. They also invested their time in bird watching to study their biological flight mechanics. As Orville once said, “learning the secret of flight from a bird was a good deal like learning the secret of magic from a magician.”
The Wright brothers became increasingly serious about their passion for flying. They got in contact with the Smithsonian Institute and the Weather Bureau to learn as much as they could about flight theory and aeronautics. Before long, they began to build their own glider. They would then travel to the town of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to put their hard work to the test.
The Evolution of the Airplane
Orville and Wilbur built a workshop in Kitty Hawk, where they would spend months at a time studying and tinkering with glider planes. By 1903, they were equipped with the knowledge to build a plane that included an engine. A local mechanic built them a suitable lightweight engine for their aircraft. Once the build was complete, the brothers waited for the perfect weather conditions to take to the sky above the Kitty Hawk sand dunes.
The plane they built was considered an experimental canard biplane. According to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the aircraft had a three-axis control system with wing-warping for lateral balance, a moveable rudder, and an elevator that was used for pitch control. The brothers’ flyer was airborne for only 12 seconds. In that short span of time, they made history as the first aviation pioneers to achieve powered, sustained, controlled airplane flight. Today, there are dozens of varieties of aircrafts that take to the skies every day! Aviation as we know it would not be the same without the incredible ingenuity of the Wright brothers and their first flight. At Redtail Air, we have a variety of planes that make up our fleet. We fly a Cessna 172, Cessna 207, Gipps Air Van, Quest Kodiak 100, and a WACO Biplane around the Moab area for our scenic flights, charter flights, and river shuttles. We take pride in our planes, and we find joy in sharing the unique experience of scenic flights with our customers.
Celebrating the Invention of the Airplane
Wright Brothers Day gives Redtail Air and aviation enthusiasts everywhere the opportunity to celebrate the ability to do what we love. The invention of the powered airplane in the early 1900s has shaped the history of flight as we know it, and it has allowed us to enjoy and revel in airborne adventures today! On this holiday, we remember and appreciate the ingenuity and imagination of Orville and Wilbur Wright.