|Wing Warping was an early system for lateral (roll) control of aircraft. Wing warping was successfully used by the Wright Brothers to make their early gliders bank or roll in the desired direction of turn. They used a system of pulleys and cables to “twist” the wings in such a manner than one wing increased its angle of attack and therefore produced greater lift while the opposite wing decreased its angle of attack and therefore produced less lift.
These differences in lift between the two wings caused the aircraft to bank or roll towards the wing with less lift and thus turn in that direction. Later, a simpler wing warping method was devised that involved simply pulling down on the trailing edge of one wing which caused that wing to create more lift which caused the aircraft to bank and therefore turn. By 1915, the use ailerons, little wings that move in opposite directions on each wing, had become the standard method for laterally controlling aircraft.
|Wright Brothers Reproductions
Wright Brothers 1899 Kite
In 1899, the Wright brothers built an experimental kite made of pine and shellacked fabric to test their wing warping theory. The Wrights were pleased with the kite's performance, and they decided to build a full-size glider. The original kite hung in their workshop for several years and was burned with other trash in 1905. The Virginia Aviation Museum's reproduction 1899 Wright kite was built by, and is on generous loan from, Rick Young.
Wright Brothers 1900 Glider
Wilbur and Orville Wright designed and constructed their first man-carrying glider in Dayton, Ohio in the spring of 1900. The glider incorporated "wing warping*" to control roll and a forward mounted elevator to control pitch; there was no rudder. The original glider was left at Kitty Hawk by the Wright's and no longer exists – our reproduction glider was constructed by Rick Young, using the only photographs of this aircraft in existence.
Wright Brothers 1901 Glider
The Wrights' second bi-wing glider was built in 1901, had a wing span of 22 feet and weighed 98 pounds. Designed according to the best available flight data the Wrights were perplexed to discover its performance was worse than the 1900 glider - they modified the glider and made a series of flight tests, some over 300 feet and in winds as high as 27 mph. This prototype reproduction was built by Rick Young and flown in October 1997 for a NOVA documentary in production. On generous loan from Rick Young.
1903 Wright Flyer Reproduction
The 1903 Wright Flyer was the first successful manned, heaver-than-air, fully controllable, powered airplane. On December 17, 1903 in Kill Devils Hills, NC, Orville Wright flew the famous first flight, which covered 120 feet in 12 seconds. The original Wright Flyer was destroyed by high winds at Kitty Hawk. The Aviation Museum's 1903 Wright Flyer reproduction is on loan from its builder, Rick Young.