1903 Wright Flyer Simulation

Peter Whalley

Kevin Quick

Ben Hawkridge

Jon Linney

I always get mad whenever I have a great idea about something, then someone else gets there first. Even worse is when they not only do it faster than I did, but did it better than I could have ever hoped to do.

I've long wanted to provide a simulation of the 1903 Wright flyer, but simply haven't had the resources to pursue this project. Now I find that a simulator has been put online by someone in the UK. What do you say to a group that beat you to the punch, created a superb simulation of the 1903 flyer, are are kicking in a simulator of the Wrights' wind tunnel experiments to boot? I can only say "Absolutely Fabulous!" I'm sure you will agree.

The First Flight site has a terrific set of materials online. We have a "sister site" relationship under development, as I have with the Octave Chanute Pages.

First Flight is located in England. We are proud to be a mirror site for their 1903 Wright Flyer simulation. North American visitors may find it faster to download the simulation from here. The simulator requires a Shockwave plugin, and is not for the memory-impaired browser. Buy more memory if you have to.

First Flight also has simulations of Cayley's whirling arm and his gunpowder-based ornithopter. We will mirror these in the near future. But on the web, distance is nothing, so check their site out!

The 1903 Wright Flyer Simulation

This simulation is based on the well-known work of F. J. Hooven, published in 1987, but goes far beyond Hooven's simulation in representing the scene from the pilot's point of view.
Download simulation (~500K)
A movie of the simulator in action(~300K).
Compare against footage shot in a real flyer!
Coming soon: a shockwave simulation of the Wright's wind tunnel experiments.
(Will these Brits stop at NOTHING?)
As a sneak-preview, check out their illustration of wind tunnel simulation