Biography of Famous Scientist Wilbur and Orville Wright

Biography of Famous Scientist Wilbur and Orville Wright

Wilbur and Orville Wright: Pioneers of Aviation

Wilbur Wright (1867–1912):

Early Life:

  • Wilbur Wright was born on April 16, 1867, near Millville, Indiana, USA.
  • The Wright family moved to Dayton, Ohio, in 1884, where Wilbur and his brother Orville spent most of their lives.


  • Wilbur attended high school in Dayton but did not graduate.
  • Both Wilbur and Orville were largely self-taught individuals who developed a keen interest in aviation and engineering.

Printing Business:

  • The Wright brothers operated a printing business, publishing various newspapers and books.
  • This business provided them with the financial means to pursue their aeronautical experiments.

Interest in Flight:

  • Inspired by the works of aeronautical pioneers such as Octave Chanute and Otto Lilienthal, the Wright brothers became fascinated with the idea of human flight.
  • They began building kites and gliders to test their concepts.

Gliding Experiments:

  • Between 1900 and 1902, the Wright brothers conducted a series of glider experiments at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.
  • These experiments helped them understand the principles of lift and control necessary for sustained flight.

Aircraft Design and Patents:

  • The Wright brothers developed the concept of three-axis control, which became a fundamental principle of aircraft design.
  • They obtained several patents related to aeronautics, including patent number 821,393 for their innovative airplane control system.

Powered Flight (1903):

  • On December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills, the Wright brothers achieved the first powered, controlled, and sustained flight in their aircraft, the Wright Flyer.
  • Orville piloted the historic 12-second flight, covering a distance of 120 feet.

Further Innovations:

  • The Wright brothers continued to refine their designs and conducted more flights, including the first circular flight and the first flight lasting over 30 minutes in 1904.

Contracts and Recognition:

  • The Wrights faced initial skepticism but eventually gained recognition. In 1908, they signed contracts to sell airplanes to the U.S. Army and foreign governments.
  • Wilbur and Orville became international celebrities, receiving honors and accolades for their contributions to aviation.

Wilbur’s Death:

  • Wilbur Wright died of typhoid fever on May 30, 1912, at the age of 45. His death was a significant loss to the world of aviation.

Orville Wright (1871–1948):

Early Life:

  • Orville Wright was born on August 19, 1871, in Dayton, Ohio, USA.


  • Like his brother, Orville did not complete high school but was a voracious reader and learner.

Aeronautical Partnership:

  • Orville worked closely with Wilbur in their aviation endeavors. The two brothers complemented each other’s skills.

Wright Company:

  • After Wilbur’s death, Orville continued their work. The Wright Company, established in 1909, became a major force in aviation manufacturing.

Innovation and Improvements:

  • Orville made significant contributions to aeronautics, including developing a stable automatic pilot system and improvements to aircraft design.

Later Life:

  • Orville withdrew from active participation in the Wright Company in 1915 but continued to serve as a consultant.
  • He lived to see the rapid development of aviation, including military applications during World War I.


  • Orville Wright passed away on January 30, 1948, in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 76.


  • The Wright brothers’ contributions revolutionized transportation and paved the way for modern aviation.
  • Their legacy endures, with December 17 celebrated as Wright Brothers Day in the United States, commemorating their historic first powered flight.

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