Air Transport World

Centennial of flight.(Brief Article)

After three weeks of flying the 1902 glider with wings of their own design and fixed twin vertical tails, the Wright Brothers were highly pleased with the aircraft's gliding performance.

However, an occasional uncontrolled sideslip had them perplexed. Although infrequent, the slips would occur when the pilot warped the wings to start a turn. Before the turn actually started but after the aircraft had rotated around its longitudinal axis--the turn delayed by the fixed vertical tail--the glider would start sliding toward the low wing. Meanwhile, airflow would start striking the vertical tail on the side toward the low wing, forcing the low wing even lower. Attempting to stop the process by warping the wings to lift the low wing would produce more drag on that wing as lift increased, momentarily worsening the situation. …

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