The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane Summary & Study Guide

Russell Freedman
This Study Guide consists of approximately 23 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Wright Brothers.
This section contains 485 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane Study Guide

The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane Summary & Study Guide Description

The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane by Russell Freedman.

The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane by Russell Freedman is a young adult book written about the Wright brothers and their quest for inventing and perfecting the world's first flying machine. Freedman is a noted biographer with more than 50 titles to his credit. Unlike many biographers, Freedman manages to interject personal stories and correspondence along with many photographs while not losing the thread of the story. Freedman paints the Wright brothers as genius inventors and heroes yet they are also portrayed as real people.

The book begins Chapter One with the following quote:

"No one had ever seen what Amos Root saw on that September afternoon in 1904."

Chap. 1, p. 1

Amos Root had driven to Huffman Prairie on the outskirts of Dayton, Ohio to witness the Wright brothers in flight. What Root saw was Wilbur's first turn in the sky.

The book tells the life stories of Wilbur and Orville Wright, brothers and co-inventors. Wilbur was born on the outskirts of Millville, Indiana in 1867. Orville was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1871.

As young boys, the Wright brothers became intrigued with mechanical toys and making their own inventions by using those toys as models. As the boys grew older, they continued to tinker and invent various items.

Neither brother had graduated from high school nor attended college. Orville dropped out of school to open a printing company. Wilbur went to work with him. Soon the business was successful and the brothers began to print their own newspaper. When the bicycle craze swept the US, the brothers opened a bicycle shop and eventually began to manufacture a new line of two models.

The brothers learned about Otto Lilienthal, a German who had some success flying model planes. The brothers immediately set out to design and build a full-size flyer, one that would be able to carry a man.

It was not long before the workroom of the bicycle shop became the design center for the Wright brothers' first Flyer. It was a glider, much like the ones used by other inventors. However, the Wright brothers' Flyer had some different features such as the pilot's positioning and control levers.

After many years filled with trials, successes and failures, the brothers made great strides in producing a glider that could stay in the air longer than any other, even the models used by some researchers. The brothers eventually turned their attention to creating a flying machine that would house a motor. After many months of design and testing, the Wright brothers managed to build a motor that could power an airplane. It was the first practical airplane and it would lead to the production of military aircraft as well as planes for commercial use.

In addition to the text, there are 91 photographs in the book, the vast majority of which were taken by the Wrights who were also accomplished photographers.

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This section contains 485 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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