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Re: The Wright legacy

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>Their aircraft were amazing structures.  Efficiency of
>structural design was of utmost importance
I've seen the real thing. The really cool parts are things people don't 
notice: the control system, which had confounded every other aviation 
pioneer; the engine which they designed and built themselves because a 
suitable engine wasn't available and the wind tunnel they built to 
measure lift coefficients for the aircraft because existing data was 

I might quibble with 'greatest minds of the twentieth century' but 
there's no question that their engineering was stellar. They took a 
step-by-step approach; they were painstaking and methodical with their 
build-or-buy decisions and their testing program was careful and 
definitive. Their sister Katharine also deserves a lot of credit for 
taking over with adminstative and financial tasks that Wilbur and Orville 
tended to neglect; running the bicycle shop and financing the airplane 
development with her own money, helping W&O with the mathematics they 
needed to understand aerodynamic theory; and handling business and PR 
issues for the Wright Aeroplane Company. Katharine also helped design and 
stitch the fabric covering for the first aircraft.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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