The 1901 glider was the
Wright brothers’ second, and most problematic, in a
series of three gliders leading up to their powered airplane.
While larger than its predecessor—it had a 22-foot wing
span and weighed 98 pounds—and capable of longer flights,
it experienced puzzling problems with lift and control.
Orville stands with the new glider at Kitty Hawk
In keeping with their approach of maintaining
continuity of design, the Wrights’ 1901 glider was similar
in structural design and layout to their 1900 craft. The wire-braced
biplane structure again featured a canard (forward) elevator
and wing-warping for lateral control. Rather than the French
sateen fabric of the 1900 craft, they used an unbleached muslin
called “Pride of the West,” the fabric they would
use on the rest of their experimental aircraft.