The Wright Brothers'
Subject Area: Science and Technology
Grade Level: 9-12
Apply the concept of force and inertia to predict the
motion of objects.
- Technology Research Tools - Select and apply
technology tools for research, information analysis,
problem-solving, and decision-making in content learning.
- Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools
- Routinely and efficiently use on-line information resources
to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications,
communications, and productivity.
After reading the explanation given below, use the World
Wide Web to access additional information needed to complete the
activity that utilizes an online simulation of the Wright
Brother's bicycle balance test to determine the angle of attack
and which angle of attack is balanced.
Otto Lilienthal studied aerial navigation in Germany for over 20
years. He patterned his designs from large birds. In 1889, he created
tables that gave airlift values at varying angles of incidence. On
August 9, 1896, while testing a glider a gust of wind hit it and it
went out of control and crashed. Lilienthal broke his neck and
The Wright Brothers read and discussed Lilienthal's work and
thought that shifting the weight of the operator was not the way to
maintain balance in a glider. They worked out a plan to test
Lilienthal's tables. They used a bicycle to fasten a curved-wing
model and a flat plate at a defined angle to each other. They
fastened the wheel in front of the handle bars of a bicycle and rode
the bicycle to create a wind.
For additional background on the Wright Brothers, you can access
the following sites:
U.S. Centennial Of Flight Commission
http://www.centennialofflight.gov/index.cfm - Wright
Brothers manuscripts and records.
http://wings.avkids.com/Book/Wright/index.html - Collaboration of the Franklin Institute,
Cislunar Aerospace, National Business Aviation Association, and NASA Ames
Airplane Company http://www.ozemail.aust.com/~flying/wright.html -
History and Plans for replica aircraft.
The Wright Experience
http://www.wrightexperience.com/ - Aircraft replicas
The National Aviation Heritage Area
http://www.aviationheritagearea.org/ - Air Force Musuem and Wright Brothers museums
Wright Brothers Links
http://www.daytoninnovationlegacy.org/wright_resources.html - Dayton Innovation Legacy
The Wright Way
http://wright.nasa.gov/ - NASA Glenn
Proceed to the activity - Student(s)
will need a computer with Internet connection.
You, or you and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the
accuracy or feasibility of your answers.
You will be able to use the World Wide Web to access
additional information needed to complete the activity that
calculates and tests the angle of the balance of attack of an
Submitted by: Rhonna Smith, Olmsted Falls High School,
Olmsted Falls, Ohio