The 1901 Glider

The 1900 glider The 1901 glider

In 1901, the Wright Brothers returned to Kitty Hawk with a new glider that they had built at their bicycle shop. Their new aircraft had the same basic design as the 1900 aircraft, but it was larger to provide more lift to carry a pilot in lighter winds. In fact, it was the largest glider ever built and weighed about 100 pounds without the pilot.

Even though the new glider had flown up to 300 feet in a single glide, it did not perform as well as the brothers had expected. It only developed one-third of the lift that was predicted by data from Otto Lilienthal, and the drag was greater than predicted. The brothers modified the curvature of the wing, but this only slightly improved the glider’s flight. Their test flights that year ended with a crash that rewarded Wilbur for his efforts with bruises and a black eye. At the end of 1901, the brothers were frustrated, and Wilbur remarked that humans would never learn to fly within the brothers’ lifetimes.

Sample Lesson Tasks

  • Become familiar with Key Terms and Objectives
  • Read online lesson
  • Take online review at the end of the lesson
  • Review online lesson as necessary to achieve 100% competency

This sample lesson contains excerpts from the Aviation for Teachers, Guidance Counselors, and Administrators course. Use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to navigate from page to page.

Sample Lesson Objectives

  • Identify early aviation pioneers along with their contributions to flight.
  • Examine the milestones leading up to the achievement of manned, heavier than air, controlled flight.

Key Terms

  • Orville and Wilbur Wright
  • Gliders
  • Aerodynamics
  • Octave Chanute
  • Progress in Flying Machines
  • Control
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Aviation for Teachers, Administrators, and Guidance Counselors

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