1900 Wright Glider (reproduction)

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    1900 Wright Glider (reproduction)

    On their path to the first successful powered airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer, the Wright brothers built three full-size gliders to test their design ideas regarding control, aerodynamics, and structures. The first one in 1900 produced less lift than the brothers' calculations predicted, but its wing-warping system for lateral control and forward elevator for pitch control worked beautifully. The Wrights primarily flew the 1900 glider as a kite, with no pilot aboard, to test its performance, but they did make a few free glides with Wilbur Wright as pilot, totaling two minutes in the air.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    1900 Wright Glider (reproduction)

    On their path to the first successful powered airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer, the Wright brothers built three full-size gliders to test their design ideas regarding control, aerodynamics, and structures. The first one in 1900 produced less lift than the brothers' calculations predicted, but its wing-warping system for lateral control and forward elevator for pitch control worked beautifully. The Wrights primarily flew the 1900 glider as a kite, with no pilot aboard, to test its performance, but they did make a few free glides with Wilbur Wright as pilot, totaling two minutes in the air.

    2 of 2

On their path to the first successful powered airplane, the 1903 Wright Flyer, the Wright brothers built three full-size gliders to test their design ideas regarding control, aerodynamics, and structures. The first one in 1900 produced less lift than the brothers' calculations predicted, but its wing-warping system for lateral control and forward elevator for pitch control worked beautifully. The Wrights primarily flew the 1900 glider as a kite, with no pilot aboard, to test its performance, but they did make a few free glides with Wilbur Wright as pilot, totaling two minutes in the air.

None of the three experimental Wright gliders exist. The Wrights did not preserve them because they saw them merely as research tools, and they were rather beat up from testing. This reproduction was built during the 2003 Wright centennial year. Numerous groups and individuals built reproduction Wright aircraft to celebrate the first century of powered flight and to learn more about the Wright brothers' inventive process.