The Wright Brothers – Inventors of the first airplane 

 

Orville and Wilbur Wright were from Ohio in the United States of America.  As children they had a model helicopter that they loved to play with, and it gave them an interest in all things that fly.  As they got older they began trying to invent a flying craft.  

In 1903 the brothers built an airplane called the Wright Flyer 1.   The plane had a wooden propeller and an engine.  It took them a few weeks of trying but on the 17th of December 1903, the Wright Flyer 1 took it's first flight for 12 seconds.  It travelled 120 feet before it landed. This was the world’s first piloted engine-powered airplane. 

Interesting Fact: In 1969, Neil Armstrong, who was also from Ohio, became the first man to set foot on the moon. Inside his spacesuit pocket was a piece of the wing and propeller of the Wright Flyer 1. 

Here is a cartoon about their amazing story

Questions: 

What were the Wright brothers' full names?

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What year was their first successful flight?

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What was the name of the airplane?

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Testing Your Paper Airplanes

Múinteoir Ray had a selection of airplanes that he tested.  Below are a few different types you could try and make.  Record how each plane flies in a table like this - 

Paper Plane Type

Trial number   

 Flight Time    

Flight Observations

1    
2    
3    
4    

Note in your observations how the plane flew on each throw and any changes you make to the plane or how you throw it.   

Test the planes indoors and outdoors and see does it make a difference to how they fly. 

Does the weather affect the flight?

Interesting facts - The record for the furthest a paper plane has flown is 69.14 metres and the record for longest flight is 29.2 seconds.  Good luck! 

Send us pictures or videos of what you have done.  Ask your parents to help you send them to rte.ie/learn

Type 1 – The Dart

  1. Get a rectangular sheet of paper
  2. Fold in half to make a centre crease and then unfold. 
  3. Fold the top corners in to the centre crease.
  4. Fold the top edges to the centre crease. 
  5. Fold the plane in half 
  6. To make the wings, fold down the paper where the dotted line is on both sides
  7. Pop out the wings
  8. Now you are ready to fly!

Type 2 - The Bug Plane

  1. Copy or print the template at the bottom of the worksheet.
  2. The Bug plane starts the same as the Dart plane.
  3. Fold down the top corners of the page into the centre.
  4. Fold the page in half the same as picture.  
  5. Fold along the (a) dotted line on each side. 
  6. Fold the very bottom pointed edge up into the middle.  
  7. Turn the plane and fold it in half.
  8. Fold down the wings along the (b) dotted lines on each side. 
  9. You are ready to fly!

Helpful YouTube Video of the making of The Bug plane 

Type 3 - The Glider

  1. The Glider Plane starts out like the other two. Fold down the top corners of the page into the centre.
  2. Fold the point over to the bottom of the previous folds. 
  3. Fold the top down
  4. Like step 1.  Fold the top corners down to the centre of the page. 
  5. Fold the plane in half and turn it so long straight edge is closest to you. Fold the wings down at a slight angle (see dotted lines).
  6. Fold the wing tips up.
  7. Push up your wings and get ready to fly!

Send us pictures or videos of what you have done.  Ask your parents to help you send them to rte.ie/learn