1/4/14 Their March 1903 patent, #821,393 (look it up and read it), was not for an airplane. It was for the means to control an airplane in flight. Until Wilber and Orville invented their way to control an aircraft, still in use in every airplane today, flight was impossible. Probably more important, they had to teach themselves to fly by discovering many of the Rules of Flying so they could control the aircraft and avoid crashing. The information in the patent shows some of their brilliance. 

Their first airplane designs did a lot of things differently then is done today but their control inventions were what the Wright Brothers invented.  Their “Flyer” had no “Ailerons”, the hinged surfaces on the wing. Instead it twisted or warped the wings one up the other down for roll control. It had no “Vertical Stabilizer, which keeps the aircraft from drifting left or right in flight. There was no “Horizontal Stabilizer” which is used to raise or lower the nose during flight. There were no “Flaps” which make the aircraft descend by increasing the “drag”. The “Elevator” was in front of the aircraft. The “Rudder” was in the back. Today the four parts, the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, the elevators and the rudder are combined into the “Tail”.

How can aircraft fly? They are not “supported by air”. The shape of the wing front to back creates  a vacuum above the wing. The vacuum pulls the wing into the vacuum. A vacuum, the absence of air, causes lift and it’s lift that is needed for flight. The “Engine” is used to control the height of the aircraft. An aircraft ascends by using power. It flies level by using only enough power to keep it from descending. There are no brakes in the air. Brakes are only available when the aircraft is on the ground. In the air the aircraft can be slowed by removing power and increasing drag but when it is slowed sooner or later it descends. 

The government did nothing to help the Wrights invent any of their discoveries. A lawsuit against Glenn Curtis who used their inventions without their permission and some pretty poor lawyering and judging needlessly prolonged the lawsuit which was eventually settled in favor of the Wrights.    

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