THE KNOWLEDGE MEDIA INSTITUTE

History of Flight

Key events

Flights of fancy

Models

Aerodynamics

How planes fly

Historical development

Aero-engines

Flyers

Cayley

Lilienthal

Phillips

The Wright Brothers

Santos-Dumont

Cody

Links

About FirstFlight

The Wright Brothers - design

The development of the 1903 Wright Flyer is a fascinating and well documented story. Lilienthal's death after a stall led the Wright Brothers to adopt a canard design, with the horizontal control surface in front of the main wing. Lilienthal had been struck by a gust of wind, and from their experiments with gliders they decided that this layout gave them the safest control in the strong winds of Kitty Hawk.