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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

(1901 - 1902) - Tested Theories

The early kite and glider experiments did not meet the performance goals which the brothers calculated before the flights. In late 1901, the brothers began to doubt the data which they were using to design their aircraft. They built a wind tunnel and developed model-testing techniques including a balance to more accurately determine the lift and drag of their aircraft.

Photo of 1901 wind tunnel
They tested over two hundred different wings and airfoil models to improve the performance of their gliders. Their very successful 1902 aircraft was based on their new data.

Today, NASA engineers at Ames, Langley, and Glenn Research Centers use sophisticated models and wind tunnels to study a variety of problems associated with modern aircraft design. These tunnels and test techniques are only modern improvements on the original work done by the Wright Brothers. You can use a computer simulator of the Wright tunnel to find out how it works.

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
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        
Curveball Students learn about the principles of aerodynamics by controlling the conditions of a big league baseball pitch. 9-12 x       x x
Foil Sim II This software fosters hands-on inquiry-based learning by computing the theoretical lift of a variety of airfoil shapes. The user can control the shapes, size, and inclination of a wing, and test their decisions in a simulated wind tunnel. 9-12 x       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    
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

Site Map and Links to Wright Brothers Information

 

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Editor: Kelly Sands
NASA Official: Nancy Hall
Last Updated: Mon, May 10 02:09:26 PM EDT 2021

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