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Up, up, and away! Ready to take flight with the Wright brothers? In this issue, kids will trace the brothers’ early experiments with gliders and follow them through their many attempts to build a successful flying machine, while also looking back at others who reached for the skies and failed. After reading how the bicycle craze of the 1890s ignited the brothers’ inventive natures, they’ll learn how other flight experimenters, like Otto Lilienthal and Octave Chanute, inspired them, and how other attempts at flight went down in flames – literally, in the case of the famous Hindenburg zeppelin.
Then kids will head out to Kitty Hawk for the many flight trials, witnessing how the brothers’ obsession finally paid off on December 17, 1903, when they finally became the first people to fly a heavier-than-air machine. A simplified overview of the flight technologies developed by the Wright Brothers, for kids, is next, followed by details on how their invention set them on the path to fame and fortune. Everyone from European royals to the U.S. military wanted a piece of the action, and very quickly, the brothers’ flying machine was improved upon and put into mass production. This set off a transportation revolution that still hasn’t stopped; today’s supersonic jets and spaceships owe their existence to the tireless work of the humble Wright Brothers. For kids curious about the history of flight, this issue will really help their imaginations soar.