1900 Wright Glider (reproduction)

Underside view of full-size reproduction of fabric and wood glider, hanging in museum
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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.




Eric Long

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Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum


Smithsonian Institution

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