Wilbur and Orville Wright: Young Fliers

by Matthew Leonard, 8B

Life of The Wright Brothers

Wilbur is born

April 16, 1867

Wilbur was born in Millville, Indiana.

Orville is born

August 19, 1871

Orville was born in Dayton, Ohio.

Orville publishes the "West Side News" weekly

March 1, 1889 - April 30, 1890

For many years, Orville shows interest in writing, and he started publishing a newspaper at this point. However, he has had experience in the past including his high school news paper.

Wilbur and Orville open a bicycle shop

December, 1892

The Wright brothers opened a bicycle shop called "The Wright Cycle Company". They used their company to fund their works in flight. No certain date was found for this event except for December 1892.

Otto Lilienthal dies

August 10, 1896

Lilienthal died in a crash while testing his single handed glider. The tragedy revives their interest in the problems in human flight.

Wilbur writes to the Smithsonian Institution

May 30, 1899

Wilbur writes to the Smithsonian Institution to ask about publications for aeronautical subjects. More specifically, a potential flying machine made by the Wright brothers.

The brothers write to the U.S. Weather Bureau

November 27, 1899

The Wright brothers wrote to the U.S. Weather Bureau to ask for an appropriate place to conduct flying experiments. They would later be granted to experiment in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The brothers arrive in Kitty Hawk

July 10, 1901

The Wrights began their flight experiments when they arrived in July. They started their tests with a large glider.

The Wrights make more trials

September 19, 1902 - October 24, 1902

The brothers made between seven hundred and one thousand flights with new gliders, and they increase their longest distance to 622.5 feet.

Wrights complete first safely-landed and sustained airplane flight

December 17, 1903

The Wrights completed the first-ever controlled and sustained flight in a power-driven and heavier-than-air machine. Five official witnesses were there to witness the ground-breaking achievement. The longest flight was made by Wilbur. He flew in the air for fifty-nine seconds, and he traveled 852 feet.

The Wrights hire Harry A. Toulman

January 22, 1904

The brothers hire Toulman (who is a patent attourney) to work on the patent for the airplane.

Wrights join the Aero Club of America

January 6, 1906

Wilbur and Orville Wright join the Aero Club of America.

The Wrights make their first flight in Europe

August 8, 1908

Wilbur flies the plane in Le Mans, France to demonstrate the power of air travel through the airplane to Europe.

Fort Meyer crash

September 17, 1908

Wilbur was badly injured while his passenger, Lt. Thomas Selfridge, died in a crash caused by a break in a propellor blade. Selfridge was the first airplane casualty in history.

The Wrights begin a patent suit

August 18, 1909

Wrights begin a patent suit against Herring-Curtiss Company by filing a bill of complaint. This proposing to prevent them from manufacturing, selling, or using in exhibition the Curtiss airplane.

Wilbur dies

May 30, 1912

Wilbur died in Dayton, Ohio. He died of Typhoid Fever.

Wrights win suit against Curtiss

January 13, 1914

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of New York rules in favor of the Wright Company in its suit against Herring-Curtiss Company and Glenn H. Curtiss.

Wright Company files suit against Curtiss Aeroplane Company

November 16, 1914

The Wright Company filed another suit against Curtis, but this time, it was for continuing to manufacture, use, and sell flying machines which infringe on Wright patent.

Wright Company merges with Glenn L. Martin Company

August 7, 1916

The merge of Wright and Glenn L. Martin became Mrtin-Wright Aircraft Association. Instead of taking a leadership role (as far as the entire company), he becomes chief consultant engineer.

Orville dies

January 30, 1948

Orville died in his hometown of Dayton. He died of a heart attack, and the second he had encountered in his life.