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Aircraft Roll

Glenn
Research
Center

Computer animation of the Wright 1902 aircraft
 showing the wings moving up and down.

One of the major breakthroughs of the Wright brothers was the ability to control and maneuver their aircraft. The first aircraft to achieve complete control in all three directions was the 1902 aircraft which is shown in this animation. The animation demonstrates the roll motion of the aircraft. This is characterized by an up and down movement of the wing tips. The Wright brothers achieved roll control by a unique idea called wing warping. The tips of their wings could by twisted relative to the rest of the wing by a series of cables.

You can view a short movie of "Orville and Wilbur Wright" explaining how wing warping was used to roll their aircraft. The movie file can be saved to your computer and viewed as a Podcast on your podcast player.


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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