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.
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.