Who Were Wilbur and Orville?
1889 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905
1899
Photo of Wright Glider
1899 Wright Kite
Getting Acquainted With Aeronautics - In the 1890's aviation was a wide-open field of study that provided rich possibilities for investigation.
After collecting reference material from the Smithsonian and other sources, the Wright brothers began studying their predecessors. They were surprised to learn that, despite humanity’s centuries-old interest in flight, little progress had been made in aeronautics before 1800. Until that time, few trained scientists or mechanics thought it a sensible undertaking.
 
During the 1800s, however, a community of technically trained people interested in flight had evolved. They had amassed a body of aeronautical knowledge that represented the first real steps toward achieving human flight.
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Artifact Gallery
Cayley Disc
Cayley's Disc illustrates his early conception of flight in 1799.
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Interactive Experiments