Lilienthal Glider

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Otto Lilienthal controlled his glider by shifting his body weight from side to side, which altered the craft's center of gravity and caused it to turn. The Wrights recognized that this technique severely limited the size of the aircraft, because the pilot and craft had to be similar in weight for body shifting to be effective. They reasoned that if they could control balance aerodynamically—using the forces air exerts on a wing—they could build an aircraft of any size and weight.