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Besides Flying, What Did the Wright Brothers Have in Common?

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, are most famous for creating and flying the first powered and controlled airplane. However, this invention was the culmination of a long and close relationship.

While neither of the brothers completed high school, they built and ran a printing press together while in their early twenties, and launched a short-lived newspaper. Later, they ran a bicycle shop together, manufacturing and selling their own design. This gave them the skills to develop the Wright Flyer and the funds to continue working on it in spite of initial skepticism from the international community.

While it could be tempting to divide up the innovations and work completed by each brother, they were insistent on sharing the credit equally between them.

More about the Wright brothers:

  • The Wright brothers used a coin toss to decide who would fly the aircraft first. Wilbur, the oldest, won the coin toss, but the plane stalled on his attempt, so the first official flight was completed by Orville.

  • The brothers promised their father they would never fly together, as he feared losing both his sons in a single accident. He relented only once, allowing the brothers to share a six-minute flight.

  • During its first successful flight, the Wright Flyer flew 120 feet over approximately 12 seconds.

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