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Wright Bros 1902 Glider 3


In the summer of 1902 the Wright brothers journeyed back to Kitty Hawk, this time with a huge machine that measured 32 feet in span and 303 square feet in wing area. Besides the warp and the front elevator, the new glider also sported fixed rear fins. Now they made good glides - some of over 500 feet  - but were plagued by an odd tendency: about one time in 50, the airplane would turn up sideways and slide to the ground, despite full warp to lift the dropped wing. The Wrights called this "well-digging''; they had discovered the incipient spin. The solution was to install a movable tail fin, linked to work in opposition to the warp mechanism to correct the warp drag that corresponds to aileron drag in our modern airplanes. Thus they had achieved three-axis aerodynamic control. By the time of their return to Dayton that winter, they had made several hundred glides, at least one of more than 600 feet and nearly half a minute's endurance.




The initial twin fixed fins were later replaced with a single rudder linked to the wing warping - the Glider 3B.
The Wrights made almost a thousand glides with this third biplane. They flew for up to 26 seconds and for distances of up to 622 feet-for a total airborne gliding time for that year of nearly five hours. They had begun to solve the problems of control in the air and to establish a definitive design.




While making preparations to test the 1903 powered aircraft, they continued to practice piloting with their 1902 glider and to establish new endurance records of more than one minute.



And from that 1902 glider came the first powered "Flyer" of 1903.




Glider 3
Wing span: 32 ft 1 in
Wing area: 305 sq.ft
Flying wt approx: 260 lb
No. of flights approx: 1000+
Total flying time approx: 4 hr

Glider 3B
Wing span: 32 ft 1 in
Wing area: 305 sq.ft
Flying wt approx: 280 lb
No. of flights approx: 60
Total flying time approx: 34 min



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