NASA Logo - Web Link to NASA.gov Vertical Line

+ Text Only Site
+ Non-Flash Version
+ Contact Glenn

Go
ABOUT NASA NEWS AND EVENTS MULTIMEDIA MISSIONS MyNASA WORK FOR NASA

NASA Meatball Logo

Models of the Wright Brothers' Aircraft (1900-1903)

Glenn
Research
Center

Wright 1903 aircraft model

This activity was submitted by Roger Storm, teacher and Chairman of the Chemistry Department at Fairview Park High School, Fairview Park, Ohio.

At this web site we present plans and step-by-step instructions for building scale models of the Wright brothers aircraft from 1900 to 1903 using readily available materials (foam meat trays and toothpicks). The activity is intended for Grades 6-10 and requires minimum model making skills. The activity introduces the ideas of scaling and following directions, and prompts the student to investigate the invention process. The models can be modified with rigging or used in a diorama to further stimulate creativity. The models can also be used as part of a science fair project.

In 2003, the world will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first flight of a piloted airplane by the Wright brothers. While much attention will be paid to the events of December 17,1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, it is important to note that the flights of that day were only the culmination of nearly five years of work by the brothers. Beginning in 1900, the brothers built a series of aircraft to test and refine their ideas of flight.

Computer drawings of Wright aircraft

You can build scale models of all four of these aircraft using the plans developed by Roger Storm of Fairview Park High School.

You can begin with the 1900 Wright aircraft. This was their first large aircraft and was flown mostly as a kite. It was used to test out ideas of wing warping for roll control. Plans for this model are available with step by step instructions. The final model looks like this:

Wright 1900 aircraft model

Next, you can build a model of the 1901 glider. This aircraft was flown as both a kite and a piloted glider. They gained valuable flight experience with this craft and discovered several problems which they had to overcome. Plans for this model are available with step by step instructions. The final model looks like this:

Wright 1901 aircraft model

You can then build a model of the 1902 glider. This plane was the first aircraft in the world that could be controlled in roll, pitch and yaw. It was the largest and best glider in its day and the brother used it to perfect their piloting skills. Plans for this model are available with step by step instructions. The final model looks like this:

Wright 1902 aircraft model

Finally, you can build a model of the 1903 Wright Flyer. This was the first, piloted, heavier than air, aircraft that could take off and fly under its own power. It was the first modern airplane. Plans for this model are available with step by step instructions. The final model is shown at the top of this page.

All of these models have been designed to the same scale so that you can compare their size and complexity. These models are intended for static display only .. not for flight. Have fun building the Wright brothers' aircraft.


Navigation..

Button to Display Wright Index

Re-Living the Wright Way
Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics
NASA Home Page
http://www.nasa.gov

 

     First Gov Image


+ Inspector General Hotline
+ Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
+ Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
+ Freedom of Information Act
+ The President's Management Agenda
+ NASA Privacy Statement, Disclaimer,
and Accessibility Certification

 

NASA Logo   
Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Apr 08 03:48:22 PM EDT 2010

+ Contact Glenn