Wright Again

Wright Again

Testing The Glider; Lorin Will Arrive - Monday, September 29, 1902

The History: Wilbur and Orville received a letter from their sister, Katharine, telling them that their older brother, Lorin, would visit them. They contacted Captain Franklin Midgett via telegram alerting him that Lorin would be in Elizabeth City so that Lorin could obtain transportation to Kitty Hawk.

Springs were added to the "end-twisting" (wing-warping) mechanism on the glider before flight testing began today.

The machine was moved to the north side of Big Hill where the wind was 7 meters per second. The winds became lighter and lighter until there was no wind at all.

After they ate they continued their tests, this time on the west side of Big Hill. However, the winds changed frequently and they began to move more to the south. Eventually the winds were too light and they stopped for the day.

Here is a sample of their gliding tests today. (WW is Wilbur Wright and OW is Orville Wright.)

Distance [feet]
Time [seconds]
Speed of Wind [meters per second]
150 10 1/2 7°40´ 7
198   6°50´ 7
98 6 1/2 8°50´ 3 to 5
112 5 1/5 8°30´  
160 8  
159 9 1/4 7°20´  
120 6 6°40´  
230 13 8°30´  
212 13 4/5 9°10´  
120 5 1/2 8°20´  

The Wrights had two methods of determining the distance the glider flew: measuring or pacing (estimating by walking and counting the number of strides taken). The Wrights' notebook does not mention which method they used today.

You know that there are 60 minutes in an hour, but you may not know that there are also 60 minutes in a degree. Orville and Wilbur recorded the angle their gliders traveled in degrees and fractions of degrees, such as 7 1/6° (which is equal to 7°10´ , pronounced 7 degrees and 10 minutes).

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Last modified: Mon Sep 30 07:48:34 PDT 2002
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