Wright Again

Wright Again

Constructing The 1902 Glider - Tuesday, September 9, 1902

The History: Orville's person diary reveals that the brothers worked on the glider for 8 hours today. Yesterday, they finished the upper wing's frame. Today, they attached the ribs to the frame as well as the cloth.


Frame, Ribs, and "Cloth" Used In Making A Glider Model

The winds were high. Orville noted: "40 miles [per hour] at 12 o'clock and during the night."

The ribs gave the glider's wings a curved shape. The curved shape of the wings affected the lift on the glider - its ability to rise into the air. So the shape of those wings was very important. In their earlier gliding tests, especially last summer's (1901), the Wrights were disappointed in their glider's performance. The 1901 glider did not achieve the amount of lift other researcher's data would have predicted.

How did the Wrights determine what shape to use? At the end of 1901, the brothers conducted a series of wind tunnel tests. They made small simple models of wing shapes and they compared the amount of lift these shapes could obtain.

This year, Wilbur and Orville shaped the 1902 glider's ribs and wings based on some of the best results from their 1901 wind tunnel tests (see Airfoil 9, Airfoil 12 and Airfoil 35).


Airfoil 35 - Metal Shaped Like A Bird's Wing

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