In the Lives of the Determined
For centuries, thousands of men sought after the dream of flight and never attained it. Figuring out how to fly, without killing yourself in the process, was an enormous task. Many intelligent men died in the process. However, after several years of reading and preparation, two men accomplished their dream. This is their story.
Wilbur and Orville Wright, from a small city called Dayton, Ohio, invented the first airplane. The sure genius of the task was insurmountable to many people. Even more amazing, however, was the fact that the brothers who never attended college, had no rigorous education in science or engineering, and that dropped out of high school without even receiving a diploma, learned more by teaching themselves. They never drank and never smoked. “They shared everything from a joint bank account to their experiments with flying machines….they were as inseparable as twins” (Freedman 3).
Although they were four years apart, they ended up becoming very close friends. One of their mutual interests was buying machines, just to take them apart, see how they worked, and put them back together again. They were always very “good with their hands…and bubbling o
The two men spent the rest of the summer practicing their technique and made hundreds of perfect glides. Wilbur and Orville wrote to several manufacturers of gasoline engines. As these new ideas began to fill their minds, they came up with a new plan; flight. In nineteen and one, they brought the largest glider ever built up to that time and flew it successfully. The brothers generated new data and calculations and set out the next year to test them out. One man in Germany was having success with hang gliders. However, after several years of reading and preparation, two men accomplished their dream. The engine was built in less than six weeks and they built it lighter and more powerful then they had asked the engine experts to do. Weather Bureau in Washington to find a windy place, suitable to conduct a few experiments. Armed with their new knowledge, the brothers tested their glider once more as a kite. After building a couple of test models, and separating them into parts for easy shipping, they were ready. For not all of the parts could be brought onto the train, some had to be shipped by boat. It was called the "West Side News" and published local stories.