Wilbur Wright

Image used with permission from the National Aviation Hall of Fame

Wilbur Wright

Wilbur Wright was born 1867 in Millville, Indiana, the older of the famous Wright Brothers. The brothers’ fascination with mechanical things including a toy “helicopter” set them on a journey to learn the secrets of flight. Working in a bike shop, Wilbur and Orville approached the wonder of flight scientifically, the brothers invented a homemade wind tunnel to test wing concepts mathematically defining and calculating the lift of various wing shapes. That wind tunnel and their use of a lightweight motor that could power an aircraft contributed to their success as aviation pioneers.

The hard work paid off on the cold, cloudy morning of December 17th, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina when they made the first sustained, controlled powered flight. Four flights occurred that day with Wilbur piloting the Wright aircraft 852 feet in 59 seconds.

Wilbur and Orville continued to promote aviation and their company designs wherever they could. In France in 1908, Wilbur Wright displayed his skill as an aviator and the controllability of the Wright Flyer on a series of demonstration flights. Those flights convinced the world that the Wright Brothers had solved the problem of powered manned flight.

For his extraordinary achievement and service to aviation, Indiana, the nation and the world, Wilbur Wright is inducted into the Indiana Aviation Hall of Fame the 8th day of July 2020.