Past Masters An Idea In Flight The Kite's Legacy
Lift equation

The 1899 kite lingered for a number of years in the Wright's workshop, and was finally destroyed about 1905 (McFarland, p. 1183). Like many of their machines, the Wrights made no drawings for the kite. Wilbur sketched the kite in 1912 as part of a patent lawsuit, but the drawing is incomplete, with many details of the kite's construction missing.

The Wright Story
kite sketchThe kite's last mission...
Education Feature: Reproducing a lost machine...
The Design Evolves
The 1899 kite was the foundation for all the Wright aircraft designs, establishing a control system that can be seen in kites and aircraft used today.
1902 glider 1900-1902: The Wright brothers' gliders were the direct descendants of the kite, and significantly advanced and refined the control system begun by the kite.
1903 Flyer 1903-1905: The Wrights' first powered machines also built upon the kite's foundation, with each control surface based on the principles first used in the kite.
1910 Wrigh machine 1908-1913: The Wrights' most advanced aircraft were the final efforts they made in aircraft design, yet retained their fundamental reliance on the previous machines' control system.
Active Aeroeslastic Wing F-18 Today: Dual-control kites are common today, and the wing-warping principles introduced by the 1899 kite are being explored for use in high-performance jets.

©2002, The Wright Experience™