History of Flight - LIFT AND DRAG

LIFT AND DRAG (Illustration) Biographies Famous Historical Events American History Famous People Social Studies STEM Tragedies and Triumphs Aviation & Space Exploration

For the next two years, Will and Orville used their bike shop as an invention center. Using a bike as their first testing device, they performed airfoil experiments.

Pedaling their contraption as fast as they could was exhausting, so the brothers invented a wind tunnel into which they placed two homemade devices - one to test lift and the other to test drag. The blower fan, which was driven by an overhead belt, created winds up to 35 miles per hour.

Writing down all their observations on strips of wallpaper, they ultimately compiled their findings into a notebook. Among other important conclusions, the brothers determined the commonly accepted coefficient of lift was too high. They also found a wing produced more lift if it had the shape of a parabola.

Using the data from all their experiments, the brothers built a reworked glider in 1902. It was the first aircraft that solved the fundamental problems of flight: lift and three-axis control (referred to as pitch, roll, and yaw).

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Feb 23, 2017

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"LIFT AND DRAG" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 01, 2002. Feb 17, 2020.
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