Wilbur Wright Biography
Birthday: April 16, 1867 (Aries)
Born In: Millville, Indiana
Wilbur Wright was an aviator and inventor who along with his brother Orville Wright developed the world's first successful airplane. The Wright Brothers were the pioneers in building a power-driven, controlled airplane that could sustain human flight. Wilbur’s fascination with flying began when his father bought him a toy helicopter based on the design of Alphonse Pénaud, a French aviation pioneer. Wilbur was very close to his younger brother, Orville with whom he conducted his experiments. As a bright youngster, he was always on the lookout for new intellectual challenges. The Wright brothers were deeply influenced by the works of the German aviation pioneer, Otto Lilienthal who was the first person to make repeated gliding flights. Lilienthal’s tragic death in a gliding accident made Wilbur realize the importance of controls in an aircraft. The brothers studied all the models of the existing flying machines, and were determined to come up with something better. The brothers worked unceasingly for years towards building an airplane that could sustain flight while seating a human on board. In 1903, they were successful in designing and building the Wright Flyer, which The U.S. Smithsonian Institution described as "...the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard."