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"Re-living The Wright Way"

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Invention Process

Researched Flight

Tested Theories

Flight Control

Test Pilot Skills

Propulsion System

First Flight

Flight Development

Pushing Envelope

Wilbur Wright Bio

Orville Wright Bio

Lesson Plans






1900 - Aircraft

1901 - Aircraft

1902 - Aircraft

Powered Aircraft

1903 - Wright Flyer

1904 - Aircraft

1905 - Aircraft

Flight Control

Wing Warping

1901 - Wind Tunnel

Wright Brothers' Invention Process

(1900 - 1905) - Developed Test Pilot Skills

Besides being airplane designers, and test engineers, the Wright Brothers were the first pilots of a heavier than air, powered aircraft.

Photo of 1901 glider
They developed their piloting skills by making over 1000 flights on a series of gliders at Kitty Hawk between 1900 and 1902. At the time of their first powered flight, the brothers were the most experienced pilots in the world. From 1903 to 1905, they continued to perfect their piloting skills on a series of powered aircraft.

Today, NASA test pilots at the Dryden Flight Research Center continue the pioneering work of the Wright Brothers.

Legend of Related Programs:: W Website
L Lesson Plans/Materials
A Activity
V Webcasts/Video
S Simulation


Program Description Grade W L A V C S
Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics Learn about how airplanes fly, including the forces that lift them off the ground, keep them in the air, and help them land. K-12 x       x x
Central Operations of Resources for Education (CORE) CORE is the world-wide distribution center of NASA-produced, educational, multimedia materials. The public has access to over 200 videocassettes, slides, and CD-ROMs chronicling NASA's state-of-the-art research and technology. K-16 x x        
Exploring Aeronautics CD-ROM This software provides interactive tutorials on the principles of flight and aircraft design. A companion website gives an introduction to and instructions on how to incorporate these materials into math, science, technology, and geography curricula. 5-8         x  
Mobile Aeronautics Education Laboratory (MAEL) The mobile state-of-the-art Aeronautics Education Laboratory brings new technologies to partnership cities to excite students about science and math. Visitors can experience 10 hands-on workstations that model real world aviation chK-16enges like weather forecasting, flight design, airfoil design, and flight controls. K-12   x       x
NASA Connect NASA Connect is an award winning series of instructional television programs that are proven to capture the imagination of elementary and middle school students. This program establishes connections between NASA research and math, science, aeronautics, and technology content taught in the classroom. 5-8 x   x x    
NASA Explores This website features weekly educational activities and updates on cutting edge research and development for elementary, middle, and high school students. Each week two new articles on aeronautics technology with lesson plans and adapted activities are featured. K-12 x x x      
NASA Quest Meet the people of NASA and look over their shoulder as they make NASA goals a reality. This website brings NASA personel and scientists into the classroom via the internet. K-12 x          
Spacelink This website contains a search tool to discover a wealth of NASA programs, research opportunities and educational materials. K-12 x          
The NASA Science Files The Science Files are an educational television program designed to enhance and enrich the teaching of math and science in '3-5. This program deals with numerous topics related to aviation, aerospace, science, technology, and math. 3-5 x   x x    
The Wright Way Learn about the development of the first manned, powered flight from its conception through research and experimentation, to success and beyond. This website features facts, lesson plans, simulations, activities, and contains information on how to participate in the Centennial of Flight Celebration. K-12 x x x     x
Virtual Skies This interactive website, designed to teach decision making and problem-solving skills, guides students through an exploration of the world of aeronautics. Learn the principles of flight, flight planning, see large wind tunnels in operation, consider career options, and more. 9-12 x   x     x

Related Research Programs

Physiological and Psychological Stressors and Factors (PPSF) The PPSF program is working to identify and avoid hazardous states of alertness in airport personnel. NASA researches are studying physiological and psychological factors like fatigue, and circadian disruptions that effect alertness and performance. The goal of this program is to minimize the role that human-error plays in flight safety.
Terminal Air Productivity (TAP) As today's large commercial airplanes approach and land on runways, their engines cause wake turbulence, which is potentially harmful to aircraft attempting to land behind them. To avoid the effects of wake turbulence airports demand mandatory spacing between flight landings to allow the turbulence to dissipate. The goal of the Terminal Air Productivity Program is to increase the capacity of U.S. airports by reducing the spacing requirements between aircraft approaching an airport, by studying how wake turbulence is formed, and how to avoid its harmful affects. Allowing for more frequent landings, and creating precision onboard navigation and communication systems will counteract the effects of wake turbulence and make air travel safer and more efficient.
Synthetic Vision System (SVS) Limited visibility is the single greatest contributing factor in most worldwide aircraft accidents. NASA is developing a new technology that would give pilots a clear look at the skies at all times, despite weather conditions or time of day. The Synthetic Vision System is a kind of virtual reality modeling program for airplane cockpits, in which the pilot gets a continuous computer-generated, real-time picture of what is ahead.
Human Automation Integration Research (HAIR) The Human Automation Integration Research Branch is studying ways to optimize interactions between automated systems and humans. The goal of the program is to capitalize on the skills and capabilities of experienced flight controllers and pilots, while minimizing human error.

Site Map and Links to Wright Brothers Information


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 05:10:25 PM EDT 2014

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