In Depth: The Engine
origins theory Wood and Wire experiments progress
A Hopeful Step Forward

The Wrights returned to Dayton after the 1901 gliding season disappointed in their work. Their questions led to a systematic evaluation of the flights and a series of wind tunnel tests to develop their ideas. The result was the birth of modern aeronautical engineering.

The Wright Story
1901-2 wind tunnel balancesWhat happened next?
Download An Evaluation of the Wright 1901 Glider Using Full Scale Wind Tunnel Data(.pdf file-250K). The results of wind tunnel tests carried out on the reproduction 1901 glider.
The Lessons of 1901
Kitty Hawk, 1901
Kitty Hawk, 1901
Image credit: Library of Congress
Hampton, 2001
NASA/Old Dominion University, 2001

The wind tunnel tests of 2001 are important for several reasons: they confirm the performance of the glider as reported by the Wrights in 1901, and extend our understanding of the Wrights' work at what proved to be a critical time in the development of aviation. As stated by Dr. Kochersberger:

"The 1901 glider was critical in providing the Wrights many important observations needed to solve the overall problem of powered flight, and in many ways, 2002 is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the systematic approach to aeronautical engineering."

The effectiveness of these tests and of similar evaluations of reproduction Wright propellers and an original Wright engine demonstrates the value in maintaining fidelity to the Wrights' original designs. The reproduction glider is currently on display at the College Park Aviation Museum, College Park, Maryland.

©2002, The Wright Experience™