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(Popular Science)   110 years ago today, Orville Wright put on a pair of goggles and told his brother, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." Or something like that   (popsci.com) divider line 56
    More: Spiffy, Wright Brothers, Mr Wright, au pairs, President Calvin Coolidge, brothers, roads, airplanes, John McMahon  
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1594 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Dec 2013 at 8:15 AM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-18 08:17:53 AM
Happy birthday, popcorn!
 
2013-12-18 08:17:56 AM
In celebration of this event, Fark will charge a fee for any comment that is not funny or smart. After this one.
 
2013-12-18 08:19:07 AM

BitwiseShift: In celebration of this event, Fark will charge a fee for any comment that is not funny or smart. After this one.


Ha!  You got served!
 
2013-12-18 08:22:37 AM
Of course it is a little less impressive if you consider that Gustave Whitehead flew nearly two years earlier in Connecticut.
 
2013-12-18 08:26:36 AM

SpectroBoy: Of course it is a little less impressive if you consider that Gustave Whitehead flew nearly two years earlier in Connecticut.


According to, basically, himself.
 
2013-12-18 08:27:18 AM
While impressive, Santos Dumont scoffs at this assertion.
 
2013-12-18 08:30:02 AM
It was probably more like "Hold my beer and watch this..."
 
2013-12-18 08:32:19 AM

SpectroBoy: Of course it is a little less impressive if you consider that Gustave Whitehead flew nearly two years earlier in Connecticut.


He probably should have, you know, done better at documenting such a momentous thing.  It's hard to take him seriously when all he had was his own notes and his passionate assertion that amounted to "Nuh uh, I did it first."
 
2013-12-18 08:32:56 AM

Shadowknight: SpectroBoy: Of course it is a little less impressive if you consider that Gustave Whitehead flew nearly two years earlier in Connecticut.

He probably should have, you know, done better at documenting such a momentous thing.  It's hard to take him seriously when all he had was his own notes and his passionate assertion that amounted to "Nuh uh, I did it first."


But he had a drawing! A drawing! Nobody could fake that.
 
2013-12-18 08:36:29 AM
wasnt it like "one small step for mankind and thanks for the mamories"?
 
2013-12-18 08:40:06 AM
upload.wikimedia.org
"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need... roads."

-Orville Wright
 
2013-12-18 08:40:48 AM
Wasn't it something about badges?
 
2013-12-18 08:42:50 AM

cameroncrazy1984: But he had a drawing! A drawing! Nobody could fake that.


It would have gone a long way to show that his original design could fly.  He never did that, only showing his later designs.  At least, that's what I understand, I may be pulling that straight out of my nethers.  

I'm not saying the history we know is always correct, because if it was Thomas Edison would be known as a hack that stole from real geniuses like Tesla and Macaroni, but in some cases people just like to try to worm their way into the books on the backs of others' achievements.
 
2013-12-18 08:47:45 AM
Yeah. Like no one else ever popcorn before him....
 
2013-12-18 08:50:06 AM
110 years ago today, Orville Wright put on a pair of goggles and told his brother, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads."

...so they went to the beach.
 
2013-12-18 08:51:51 AM
something something something TSA cavity search something something.
something something something lost luggage something something.


(Sorry it's too early to try to be witty).
 
2013-12-18 08:53:38 AM

cameroncrazy1984: SpectroBoy: Of course it is a little less impressive if you consider that Gustave Whitehead flew nearly two years earlier in Connecticut.

According to, basically, himself.


And, of course, the witnesses.
 
2013-12-18 08:54:42 AM
Santos Dumont?
That boy made one hell of a TV!
 
2013-12-18 08:56:03 AM

SpectroBoy: And, of course, the witnesses.


Not one of which was any kind of verifiable record keeping sort.  Like a reporter, patent office clerk...

Ask a crowd of witnesses, and they'll attest that they watched David Blaine levitate in front of them or that Big Foot was going through their garbage last week.
 
2013-12-18 08:59:11 AM

cameroncrazy1984: SpectroBoy: Of course it is a little less impressive if you consider that Gustave Whitehead flew nearly two years earlier in Connecticut.

According to, basically, himself.


Some people believe it's 100% about what you do, 0% about what you publish.
They aren't dumber than the rest of us.  But they don't tend to succeed as scientists/inventors/engineers.
 
2013-12-18 08:59:59 AM
The Montgolfier brothers laugh at all you posers.


And go for a wash.
 
2013-12-18 09:01:06 AM
I love this picture:

www.wright-house.com

It was just for a few seconds, but can you imagine the excitement of those guys when that thing got off the ground? It would be like when the first Rover landed on Mars, which looked something like this at mission control:

i.dailymail.co.uk

maybe you can't tell from that picture, but all those people--those serious, hard-working science nerds--were crying and jumping up and down and screaming. I bet the Wright Brothers were crying and screaming too. .......and just a few years later, we used those clunky machines in a WAR. The wonders of technology.

/My dad told me all about the Wright Brothers when I was young (he really loved airplanes) and it really made an impression on me.
 
2013-12-18 09:05:06 AM

cryinoutloud: I love this picture:

[www.wright-house.com image 320x225]

It was just for a few seconds, but can you imagine the excitement of those guys when that thing got off the ground? It would be like when the first Rover landed on Mars, which looked something like this at mission control:

[i.dailymail.co.uk image 634x371]

maybe you can't tell from that picture, but all those people--those serious, hard-working science nerds--were crying and jumping up and down and screaming. I bet the Wright Brothers were crying and screaming too. .......and just a few years later, we used those clunky machines in a WAR. The wonders of technology.

/My dad told me all about the Wright Brothers when I was young (he really loved airplanes) and it really made an impression on me.


Growing up in Dayton, where the Wright Brothers had their bicycle shop, you really had to be deaf and dumb to not be confronted with the roads, schools, and all sorts of things named after them. You can still tour the shop and the Air Force Museum has the Wright Flyer on display, as I recall.
 
2013-12-18 09:14:01 AM

Shadowknight: SpectroBoy: Of course it is a little less impressive if you consider that Gustave Whitehead flew nearly two years earlier in Connecticut.

He probably should have, you know, done better at documenting such a momentous thing.  It's hard to take him seriously when all he had was his own notes and his passionate assertion that amounted to "Nuh uh, I did it first."


The newspaper article written about his flight was an EYE WITNESS account. It also appears there WAS a photo but it was lost. From Wikipedia:

No photograph conclusively showing Whitehead making a powered controlled flight is known to exist. However, reports have referred to such photos being on display as early as 1904.
 
2013-12-18 09:14:10 AM
Thanks guys for figuring out controlled falling!

/hate flying no matter how much I do it
 
2013-12-18 09:17:54 AM

Shadowknight: SpectroBoy: And, of course, the witnesses.

Not one of which was any kind of verifiable record keeping sort.  Like a reporter, patent office clerk.


From Wikipedia:

Much of Whitehead's reputation rests on a newspaper article written as an eyewitness account which stated that Whitehead made a powered flight in Connecticut on August 14, 1901. In the months that followed, details from this article were widely reprinted in newspapers across the U.S. and Europe. Whitehead's aircraft designs and experiments also attracted notice in Scientific American magazine and a 1904 book about industrial progress.

So yeah, a REPORTER and WITNESS wrote about it. Then other papers picked up the story. Then Scientific American reported on it in 1904.
 
2013-12-18 09:20:48 AM

The Briny Derp: Happy birthday, popcorn!


Came here to say this. Glad someone covered this early!
 
2013-12-18 09:26:00 AM

SpectroBoy: So yeah, a REPORTER and WITNESS wrote about it. Then other papers picked up the story. Then Scientific American reported on it in 1904.


According the the Wiki, anyway.  In any case, there is the problem that there is no picture evidence, and he was never able to reproduce his flight with his original flyer.  The Wrights could, with some minor repairs between flights of course.  That thing was basically a kite with a go-cart motor on it.

Even if the man caught the wind for a few seconds, he could never reproduce it with an audience of record.  That's a fluke, not a flight.
 
2013-12-18 09:26:04 AM
TSA would have stopped them today.
 
2013-12-18 09:26:57 AM

BalugaJoe: TSA would have stopped them today.


And they STILL wouldn't be able to find their baggage.

/I think that covers most of the jokes
 
2013-12-18 09:29:10 AM
Anastacya:
Growing up in Dayton, where the Wright Brothers had their bicycle shop, you really had to be deaf and dumb to not be confronted with the roads, schools, and all sorts of things named after them. You can still tour the shop and the Air Force Museum has the Wright Flyer on display, as I recall.

CSB:

I used to live next door to the Wright Bros Monument in Kill Devil Hills (mid-70s). Back before the Centennial brought a lot of money and a major expansion of the memorial and museum, it was actually a small and unimpressive place. The videotape loop in the little movie theater was often broken, most of the museum was closed off due to lack of funds, and often there wasn't even a park service ranger on duty so they just left the little museum locked for the day.

My jogging route was out my back door and down the path of the original flight, then onto the runway there behind the monument. Some days I'd stop on my way back at the museum because of the jewel in the crown - Orville and Wilbur's notebook. It was a big thing and it was kept in a glass case. Every day, to keep the sunlight from fading the ink, the rangers would turn a page. So you could read their notes and comments as they built their gliders. Man, those guys were serious - they noted which shop in Elizabeth City had the best linen for the wings, which boat house had the best wood for struts. All expenses were noted, even the nickel they gave a local kid for the puppy drum he brought over for them to cook. It was fabulous to be able to follow their experiments like that.

After the museum was expanded, it's now more of a Disney experience than a scientific experience. Plus they charge you $5. Haven't seen the notebook in ages and a ranger told me it had been moved to the National Archives. Hope they put it online somewhere.

Local legend has it that one of the guys who witnessed the flight went home to dinner with this laconic announcement: "Well, they done flew."

Another local tradition that seems to have vanished is the "Man Will Never Fly Society" and their annual dinner on the 17th. It was always hosted at the Carolinian Hotel and as you might imagine, was composed almost entirely of aviators. The one year I attended (as a waiter for the event) the attendees included Jimmy Doolittle, Neil Armstrong, Joe Foss, and Robin Olds. The room was so full of large hairy testicles you almost couldn't get through the door. Their motto was "Birds fly, men drink," and they had presentations on how the whole Wright Brothers thing was a fraud and a fake.

Well, most of those guys are dead now and the Carolinian was torn down to be replaced by McMansions. The Man Will Never Fly Society seems to have ceased to exist sometime around 2007. And if the Wright Bros were around today, they'd probably be building some silly app for the iPhone.

/CSB
 
2013-12-18 09:31:41 AM
There has always been something about Ohio that makes its residents want to leave Earth.
 
2013-12-18 09:42:51 AM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-12-18 09:43:36 AM
Never happened. It was done on a soundstage at Area 51.
 
2013-12-18 10:13:20 AM
Whoa, Subby, that's heavy!
 
2013-12-18 10:16:42 AM

SpectroBoy: Shadowknight: SpectroBoy: And, of course, the witnesses.

Not one of which was any kind of verifiable record keeping sort.  Like a reporter, patent office clerk.

From Wikipedia:

Much of Whitehead's reputation rests on a newspaper article written as an eyewitness account which stated that Whitehead made a powered flight in Connecticut on August 14, 1901. In the months that followed, details from this article were widely reprinted in newspapers across the U.S. and Europe. Whitehead's aircraft designs and experiments also attracted notice in Scientific American magazine and a 1904 book about industrial progress.

So yeah, a REPORTER and WITNESS wrote about it. Then other papers picked up the story. Then Scientific American reported on it in 1904.


Oh wow, a new kind of truther.  Why was he unable to reproduce his flight with his original flyer again?  Maybe because it never happened?
 
2013-12-18 10:24:18 AM

cryinoutloud: It would be like when the first Rover landed on Mars, which looked something like this at mission control:


Does plowing into the surface because you got metric and imperial measurments messed up count as a 'landing'?
 
2013-12-18 10:27:54 AM
deadhomersociety.files.wordpress.com

"Bogey's airspeed not sufficent for intercept. Suggest we get out and walk"
 
2013-12-18 10:29:45 AM

cryinoutloud: I love this picture:
 I bet the Wright Brothers were crying and screaming too. .......

Yeah , when they  found out their luggage was in Atlanta...

 
2013-12-18 10:36:02 AM
Tesla was robbed!
 
2013-12-18 10:38:20 AM
Wow! Orville was truly an American hero. His revolutionary work inspired people around the world like Anne Frank, who despite being blind, was able to develop her own popcorn recipes. With the help of her nurse Amelia Earhart, she wrote her famous popcorn cookbook to share her recipes with the world.
 
2013-12-18 10:39:19 AM

Anastacya: Growing up in Dayton, where the Wright Brothers had their bicycle shop, you really had to be deaf and dumb to not be confronted with the roads, schools, and all sorts of things named after them. You can still tour the shop and the Air Force Museum has the Wright Flyer on display, as I recall.


Yup, we lived in Dayton and I got the full tour from Dad. Then he took us to the actual site of the flight and we toured that too.

EngineerBob: cryinoutloud: I love this picture:
 I bet the Wright Brothers were crying and screaming too. .......
Yeah , when they  found out their luggage was in Atlanta...


Heh. At the bottom of the ocean, when they realized that they hadn't figured out a way to make the airplane STOP when they wanted it to.

MythDragon: Does plowing into the surface because you got metric and imperial measurments messed up count as a 'landing'?


Hey man, why so serious? They landed it, and isn't that damn thing still up there collecting data? Or are they on the second one now? But nonetheless, it worked like a charm and for far longer than they expected. Let them jump up and down and scream. They're nerds, they never have any fun.
 
2013-12-18 10:40:50 AM

cryinoutloud: Hey man, why so serious? They landed it, and isn't that damn thing still up there collecting data?


The one that plowed into the surface never collected shiat.
 
2013-12-18 10:53:38 AM

ralphjr: Wow! Orville was truly an American hero. His revolutionary work inspired people around the world like Anne Frank, who despite being blind, was able to develop her own popcorn recipes. With the help of her nurse Amelia Earhart, she wrote her famous popcorn cookbook to share her recipes with the world.


In braille.
 
2013-12-18 11:20:09 AM

umad: cryinoutloud: Hey man, why so serious? They landed it, and isn't that damn thing still up there collecting data?

The one that plowed into the surface never collected shiat.


It collected dust....
 
2013-12-18 11:21:46 AM
i read somewhere that Orville took the flight because he didn't want to have to write his mother that he killed his brother.
 
2013-12-18 11:30:32 AM

ralphjr: Wow! Orville was truly an American hero. His revolutionary work inspired people around the world like Anne Frank, who despite being blind, was able to develop her own popcorn recipes. With the help of her nurse Amelia Earhart, she wrote her famous popcorn cookbook to share her recipes with the world.



And then she became a famous newspaper advice columnist.
 
2013-12-18 01:21:33 PM
Only took a century to go from flipping a coin to flipping the bird
stepasideshow.com
 
2013-12-18 03:34:39 PM
110 years ago today yesterday, Orville Wright put on a pair of goggles and told his brother, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." Or something like that

There, that looks better.
 
2013-12-18 03:59:53 PM
To all Wright Bros. detracters:

Yes, your fellow made a working maneuverable heavier than air craft, then just walked away and said "next".

Yeah, wright.
 
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