Will and Orv's Workshop

Home    History Wing    Adventure Wing    Exhibits & Programs    Company Store    Information Desk


Adventure Wing 


  Will & Orv's    

(You are here.)      

Return To    
Kitty Hawk

  The Virtual    



Inner Tube Box    

Not Quite    
Wright Kite

Wind Tunnel    
And Balance

1902 Wright    
Glider Model

Vintage Rubber    
Flyer Model


Need to    

find your    


Try these    
navigation aids:    

 Site Map 

Museum Index 

the Museum

 If this is your first      visit, please stop by:     

the Museum

Something to share?     

Contact Us 


  Available in Française, Español, Português, Deutsch, Россию, 中文, 日本, and others.

ilbur and Orville always seemed to be building something. They were brought up to it by their mother, Susan Koerner Wright. Her father, John  Koerner, was a skilled carriage maker and taught his daughter to work with tools. She made many of her own  home appliances, as well as toys for her children. More important, she passed these skills on to her children. The Wright brothers built their first flying machine, a rubber band-powered helicopter, when Orv was 8 years old and Will was 12. Later, Orville made kites and sold them to his friends. Wilbur invented a machine that folded the United Brethren newspaper his father published. Together they  made furniture, printing presses, bicycles, gliders, and airplanes. They also added a porch and a hand-carved staircase to their home. Their lives seemed to revolve around their workshop.

It's no wonder that the Wright story seems to attract people who like to work with their hands. Because of that, we created a "hands on" section where folks can experience aviation history from the point of view of those who built it. In this virtual workshop, we offer plans and information for airplanes and models you might like to build. We'll also lead you through some aeronautical experiments and demonstrate a few of the skills needed to build pioneer aircraft.

Here's what's happening in our virtual workshop:

The workshop in which Will and Orv built their first airplanes now rests at the Henry Ford Museum nearf Detroit, Michigan.

  • The Inner Tube Box Experiment Wilbur Wright was fiddling with an inner tube box in 1899 when an idea suddenly occurred to him for an effective way to control an aircraft in flight. Using a single sheet of card stock, you can repeat the simple experiment the opened the Age of Aviation.

  • Not Quite Wright Kite The Wright brothers tested their ideas for an aerodynamic control system by flying a special kite that allowed them to twist its wings and move its elevator form the ground. This kite does that too, but it's not quite a replica. It's much simpler to build and easier to fly.

Possible learning may occur! Crafty educators have been known to use this project to teach National Scholastic Benchmarks.

  • Wind Tunnel and Balance To insure that their airplanes produced maximum lift with minimum drag, the Wright brothers test about 200 different wing shapes in a wind tunnel and measured the forces on the wing shapes with several balances. You can make this wind tunnel from household fans and cardboard and the balances from balsa wood and wire nails. Then design your own wing shapes from aluminum flashing and see if you can find a better wing shape that the Wrights did.

Possible learning may occur! Crafty educators have been known to use this project to teach National Scholastic Benchmarks.

  • 1902 Wright Glider Model The 1902 Wright Glider was the first aircraft to have 3-axis aerodynamic controls movable surfaces to catch the wind and pitch the nose up and down, yaw it right and left, or roll the aircraft from side to side so one wing rose and the other dipped. This flying model has adjustable aerodynamic surfaces that allow you to investigate the controls for each axis pitch, yaw, and roll.
  • Vintage Rubber Band-Powered Flyer Model Immediately after Wilbur and Orville began demonstrating their airplane in Europe and America, flying rubber band-powered aircraft became a popular sport. New designs were published every day, and competition were held somewhere every weekend. This is a vintage plan for a model aircraft that looks (vaguely) like the Wright Flyer. It appeared in an (extremely) early edition of Flight magazine.

Back to the top

Home    History Wing    Adventure Wing    Exhibits & Programs    Company Store    Information Desk

"Aviation is proof that – given the will – we can do the impossible."
 Eddie Rickenbacker



Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company/Adventure Wing/Will and Orv's Workshop

Copyright © 1999-2011