Orville Wright (1871 – 1948) – Wilbur Wright (1867 – 1912)

Orville Wright: The Flyer (Heroes of History)


Full Name: Orville WrightNationality: American

The world’s first military airplane is demonstrated for the U.S. Army in 1909 by Orville Wright, shown here climbing into the pilot’s seat. Wright and Lieutenant Frank Purdy Lahm are catapulted down a rail and launched into the air. The machine circles the field for 1 hour 12 minutes, setting a new world’s record for time aloft with pilot and passenger.

Orville Wright was one half of the aviation pioneers known as the Wright Brothers. Together with his brother , Orville Wright made history with the first ever heavier than air, manned, powered flight in 1903.

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  • Finding Aid - Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers, 1809 to 1979
  • Finding Aid - Octave Chanute Papers, 1807 to 1955
  • Wright Brothers Negatives - Prints and Photographs Division
  • Collections with Manuscripts
  • Manuscript Reading Room

Orville Wright. (Colorized Photo).

Orville Wright was born on August 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio. He was the fourth child of Bishop Milton Wright and Susan Wright. Bishop Wright was in the habit of bringing small toys home to his children after traveling on church business and it was one of these toys that Orville Wright attributed for his early interest in flight. It was the minature Penaud helicopter that Milton Wright brought home in 1878, a popular mechanical toy. In 1881, the Wright family moved to Richmond, Indiana, where Orville Wright took up kite building. In 1887, Orville Wright started at Dayton Central High School, however, he never graduated.

He published his first newspaper together with his friend Ed Sines, for their eighth-grade class. By sixteen, Orville worked summers in a print shop, where he designed and built his own press. On March 1, 1889, Orville Wright began publishing the short-lived West Side News, a weekly newspaper for West Dayton. Wilbur Wright was the editor and Orville was the printer and publisher.