Wright brothers day trivia quiz
December, 17, 1903 was a prominent day for the whole world: two brothers from Dayton, Ohio defied gravity! Orville and Wilbur Wright had no professional training in engineering, but they still managed to perform the first manned airplane flight, thus ushering in the era of aviation. For this occasion, we prepared an interesting Wright Brothers trivia quiz! But before you take it, we advise that you read a few interesting facts about the history of their life-changing invention.
In 1878, when Orville and Wilbur were 7 and 11 years old respectively, their father presented them with a toy. However, he did not just hand it to the boys; instead, he tossed it into the air. The toy, in its turn, did not fall to the floor; it “flew across the room till it struck the ceiling, where it fluttered awhile, and finally sank to the floor,” the brothers recalled in a 1908 magazine article. The toy, as you may have realized, was a model aircraft; the helicopter made of bamboo, cork and paper and powered by a rubber band mesmerized the boys and awoke their interest – or rather sparkled their passion – for aviation.
Neither brother graduated from high school. Wilbur had four years of high school, but the family moved to another town – Dayton, Ohio – before he could finish it. Orville was an eager learner, but left school to start a printing business.
Before the brothers started their flying experiments, they ran the printing business together; in 1889 they even began to publish a weekly newspaper, The West Side News, then a daily newspaper, The Evening Item, and in 1892 they finally switched to bicycle repair and sales. This business was successful enough to financially support aircraft engineering.
Orville and Wilbur decided who would be the first to test their flyer by tossing a coin. Wilbur won the toss, but his first attempt was unsuccessful and damaged the aircraft. Three days later Orville performed another flight: dressed in a coat and tie, he lay flat on his stomach and controlled the Flyer. At first, the aircraft moved down the gliding rail and then it left the ground and stayed in the air for 12 seconds covering 120 feet before it landed in soft sands. The brothers took turns controlling the Flyer on that day; performed by Wilbur, the final flight of that day covered 852 feet. But this is not how the story ends! When Orville and Wilbur were discussing their success, a sudden gust of wind flipped the Flyer over several times, damaging it beyond repair. The 1903 Wright Flyer never flew again.
The brothers had promised their father, who feared he could lose both sons in a crash, they would never fly together. Eventually, the 82-year-old father made an exception and allowed Orville and Wilbur to fly together on May, 25, 1910. After that, Orville took his father on his first and only flight; as the aircraft gained height, the old man cried out excitedly, “Higher, Orville, higher!”
Unfortunately, Orville Wright was involved in the first fatal aviation accident. It happened on September, 17, 1908, when he took the two-passenger Wright Military Flyer they were marketing to the U.S. Army to flight. A few minutes into the flight, the propeller suddenly broke off; the aircraft went out of control and crashed to the ground at full speed. The passenger of the Flyer died a few hours later in hospital, while Orville suffered four broken ribs, a broken leg and a back injury that never healed completely.
Despite the tragic accident, the influence of the Wright brothers on the development of aircraft industry is huge. When Neil Armstrong (who, by the way, also came from Ohio) set foot on the Moon in 1969, he had a piece of fabric from a wing of the original 1903 Wright Flyer and a piece of wood from its propeller as a tribute to the outstanding engineers who gave their whole lives to their work.