Wright Brothers’ Airplane

Click the image to view or print the pattern and instructions for this craft.

The Wright Brothers

The Wright brothers are known for inventing and flying the first motorized airplane. 

There were 5 children in the Wright family.  Wilbur, the middle child, was born in 1867.  His brother Orville was born 4 years later, in 1871.  Their father was a traveling preacher who often brought small toys home for his children.  One of those toys was a model helicopter.  The boys were fascinated by the mechanics of the helicopter toy.

Wilbur was an excellent student who had planned to go to Yale University.  Unfortunately, he was severely injured while playing hockey.  He became so depressed that he never even finished high school.  The only sibling who attended college was their sister, Katherine.

In 1889, the brothers started their own newspaper.  They also opened a bicycle shop where they built and repaired bikes.  The brothers were interested in aviation.  They observed birds in flight.  Studying birds helped them develop a concept they called “wing-warping.”  They used their wing-warping idea and a moveable rudder to create a successful flying machine.

On December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they made their first flight in their flying machine.  Orville was the first to fly.  His flight lasted 12 seconds.  Wilbur was the pilot of the fourth flight which lasted for 59 seconds and went 852 feet.

Make the Wright Brothers’ Paper Airplane Craft.  Have a contest to see who can fly their plane the furthest.