Asian American Heritage

Meet the Wright Brothers
Inventing the Plane
Build a Plane


Build a Plane

Through their experimentation and their innovation, the Wright brothers identified and solved the basic problems of flying a heavier-than-air craft. Three of these problems were:

  • Wings with enough surface area and the proper curve to provide lift.
  • A means to control the direction of the aircraft's movement.
  • A lightweight source of power.

On December 17, 1903, a windy day at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first successful powered flight in a heavier-than-air craft. The first flight, made by Orville, was short — 120 feet (36.6 meters) in 12 seconds — but it was followed by three more flights with the brothers taking turns. Wilbur made the last flight that day. It lasted for 59 seconds and covered 852 feet (260 meters). That distance would have been longer if there had not been a strong headwind.

Your Mission
You will be asked to make 3 decisions on building an airplane, just like Wilbur and Orville Wright. Each decision will affect whether you plane will fly. Remember, learn from history and take hints from the trials of the Wright brothers. You might also want to take tips from the physics tips to keep your nose in the air.

Proceed with your mission >>