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"Re-living The Wright Way"

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Invention Process

Researched Flight

Tested Theories

Flight Control

Test Pilot Skills

Propulsion System

First Flight

Flight Development

Pushing Envelope

Wilbur Wright Bio

Orville Wright Bio


Lesson Plans

Simulations

Webcast/Video

Activities

CD-ROMs


Gliders

1900 - Aircraft

1901 - Aircraft

1902 - Aircraft

Powered Aircraft

1903 - Wright Flyer

1904 - Aircraft

1905 - Aircraft

Flight Control

Wing Warping

1901 - Wind Tunnel

Wright Brothers' Invention Process

(1903 - 1920's) - Developed Propulsion Systems

The Wright Brothers were the first to fly a self-propelled, heavier than air machine. This required the development of two other pieces of technology; a light weight motor and the propellers to push the aircraft through the air.

Photo of 1903 engine
The brothers based their engine design on an early internal combustion engine for an automobile. The thin, high speed propellers which they designed were based on wind tunnel tests and were unlike any other propellers being used at that time. While the design of the airframe of the Wright aircraft remained nearly the same for years, the brothers continually improved and upgraded their engine design. Between 1903 and 1913 the engine power increased from 12 horsepower to nearly 75 horsepower.

Today, NASA continues to perfect aircraft engines and develop new methods for aircraft propulsion at the Glenn Research Center.

Legend of Related Programs:: W Website
L Lesson Plans/Materials
A Activity
V Webcasts/Video
C CD-ROM
S Simulation

 

Program Description Grade W L A V C S
Aeronautics Kidspage This website is designed to help children learn about aeronautics, with an emphasis on aircraft engines. Lesson plans on the history, dynamics, and propulsion of airplanes are provided. K- 6 x x x      
Beginners Guide to Propulsion This interactive website serves as a guide to how jet engines work. Activities, data, and engine simulations are available for teachers and students. K-16 x   x     x
Central Operations of Resources for Education (CORE) CORE is the world-wide distribution center of NASA-produced, educational, multimedia materials. The public has access to over 200 videocassettes, slides, and CD-ROMs chronicling NASA's state-of-the-art research and technology. K-16 x x        
EngineSim Students can manipulate variables to design and test engines to see what is most efficient. This software fosters hands on inquiry-based learning in science and math by simulating jet engine tests and the effects that engines have on the speed and range of aircraft. 9-12         x x
Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory (MAEL) The mobile state-of-the-art Aeronautics Education Laboratory brings new technologies to partnership cities to excite students about science and math. Visitors can experience 10 hands-on workstations that model real world aviation chK-16enges like weather forecasting, flight design, airfoil design, and flight controls. K-12   x       x
NASA Connect NASA Connect is an award winning series of instructional television programs that are proven to capture the imagination of elementary and middle school students. This program establishes connections between NASA research and math, science, aeronautics, and technology content taught in the classroom. 5-8 x   x x    
NASA Explores This website features weekly educational activities and updates on cutting edge research and development for elementary, middle, and high school students. Each week two new articles on aeronautics technology with lesson plans and adapted activities are featured. K-12 x x x      
NASA Quest Meet the people of NASA and look over their shoulder as they make NASA goals a reality. This website brings NASA personel and scientists into the classroom via the internet. K-12 x          
Spacelink This website contains a search tool to discover a wealth of NASA programs, research opportunities and educational materials. K-12 x          
The NASA Science Files The Science Files are an educational television program designed to enhance and enrich the teaching of math and science in '3-5. This program deals with numerous topics related to aviation, aerospace, science, technology, and math. 3-5 x   x x    
The Wright Brothers Posters This pair of posters includes "The Process of Invention" and "Innovation Through Flight". Both posters showcase the vital role that engineering has played in human progress. K-12 x   x      
The Wright Way Learn about the development of the first manned, powered flight from its conception through research and experimentation, to success and beyond. This website features facts, lesson plans, simulations, activities, and contains information on how to participate in the Centennial of Flight Celebration. K-12 x x x     x

Related Research Programs

High Speed Research Program NASA is developing the passenger jet of the future. A next-generation supersonic jet that could fly 300 passengers more then 1500 mph (twice the speed of sound). This plane could cross the Atlantic or Pacific in less then half the time of today's commercial flights.
Helios Prototype On August 13, 2001 the Helios prototype set a world-record by achieving sustained flight at more then 96,000 feet. The Helios is an unmanned solar powered aircraft, with a gigantic wingspan of 247 feet. The Helios prototype has two program goals; to reach an altitude of 100,000 feet with a small payload, and to achieve a sustained flight with a duration of at least 96 hours.
Air-breathing Rocket Propulsion NASA is using new propulsion technology to develop rockets that weigh much less at take-off then conventional rockets which are weighed down by large supplies of fuel and oxygen. Air-breathing rocket propulsion inhales oxygen during flight so that oxygen does not have to be stored on board. The air-breathing rocket is going to be completely reusable, and able to take off and land at airport runways because of the drastically reduced weight.
Magnetic Levitation The Mag-Lev uses a magnetic track to lift a vehicle, and then move it forward very quickly. This technology will be used to make rocket take-offs more efficient by giving them a running start.

Site Map and Links to Wright Brothers Information

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 05:10:22 PM EDT 2014

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