The Wright Brothers
Wright Brother's Glider at Kitty Hawk, N.C.

The Wright Brothers and Their High-Flying Invention

The gentlemen picture here are Orville and Wilbur Wright, two mechanically-minded brothers who invented the first successful powered airplane. 

In 1889, the brothers built a small printing press and started a weekly newspaper in Dayton, Ohio. Then, they opened a bicycle shop. But they wanted to do something else: they wanted to build a flying machine. And that’s what they did.

To get started, they experimented with gliders, like the one pictured here. That’s how they figured out how to control their plane during flight. Then, they added a small engine with a propeller on the back.

In 1903, they took their invention to the windy sand dunes near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and tossed a coin to see which brother got to fly first. Wilbur won and made a short, three-second flight.  But soon the brothers were making longer flights. Their high-flying invention worked! It was the very first motor-powered airplane.

Bright Ideas

Quotes from Famous Inventors

“I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident. They came by work.”
Thomas Edison

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”
Henry Ford

“When one door closes, another door opens; but we often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones that are open to us.”
Alexander Graham Bell

“The Wright Brothers flew right through the smokescreen of impossibility.”
Charles Kettering

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
Henry Ford

Nifty Fifty

About North Carolina

It’s a Fact: The Wright Brothers chose Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to test their airplane because it was a windy place with soft ground. And they also liked the fact that they had privacy at Kitty Hawk.

It’s a Fact: The saying “First in Flight” is printed on North Carolina license plates.

It’s a Fact: Mount Mitchel, near Asheville, North Carolina, is America’s tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River.

It’s a Fact: The capital of North Carolina is Raleigh. The largest city in North Carolina is Charlotte.

It’s a Fact: The abbreviation for North Carolina is NC.

More Fun Facts

Fun Fact: The capital of the United Kingdom is London.

Fun Fact: The U. S. president during the American Civil War was Abraham Lincoln.

Fun Fact: The longest river in the world is the Nile in Africa.

Fun Fact: The biggest river in America is the Mississippi.

Fun Fact: If the earth were the size of a tennis ball, the sun would be a huge ball 24 feet across, and it would be half a mile away.

Fun Fact: The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world. It covers about one fifth of the earth’s surface.

Questions and Answers
Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.
Did the Wright brothers own a bicycle shop or a motorcycle repair shop?
They owned a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio.
Did the Wright brothers make their first flight in North Carolina or South Carolina?
They made their first flight in North Carolina, near a place called Kitty Hawk..
Was Abraham Lincoln president during the Vietnam War, the Civil War, or World War II?
Lincoln was president during the Civil War.
The Pacific Ocean is the world's biggest ocean. What's the second largest ocean?
The Atlantic Ocean.
Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.

Idea #1: You can write about the amazing lives of Orville and Wilbur Wright.


Idea #2: You can write about what it would have been like to have been at Kitty Hawk on the day the Wright Brothers made their first flight.

To help you write a great essay, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle
Here's a riddle for you:
I fly without wings, and I cry without eyes. What am I?
A cloud.
The Mystery Ryders

For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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