U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission home page
Wilbur and Orville Wright: A Chronology

1902 Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Wright 1902 Glider

On their third visit to Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1902 the Wrights made 700-1,000 glides increasing their record for distance to 622-1/2 ft., for time to 26 seconds, and for angle of descent to 5 degrees for a glide of 156 ft.. Orville has stated that the flights of 1902 demonstrated efficiency of their system of control for both longitudinal and lateral stability and also the fact that their tables of air pressure derived from their wind-tunnel tests would enable them to calculate in advance the performance of their flying machine.

DATE FLIGHT PILOT TIME DISTANCE ALTITUDE REMARKS
Sep 19
 
 
 
 
 
Glider first flown as kite, then about 25 glides made, none entirely free. Daniel Tate assists brothers in glides on this and subsequent days.
Sep 20
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
WW
11 sec.
ca. 200 ft
 
Nearly 50 glides made September 19 and 20.
 
2
WW
 
140 ft.
 
Wilbur made free glide.
Sep 22
 
 
 
 
 
Glider flown as kite.
Sep 23
 
OW
 
160 ft.
 
Orville made first free flight. Altogether about 75 glides were made, varying in length from 150 to 225 ft. and in duration from 10 - 12 seconds. Machine damaged in landing at end of day, requiring delay in experiments for several days to make necessary repairs.
Sep 29
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
OW
10-1/4 sec.
150 ft.
 
 
 
2
OW
 
198 ft.
 
 
 
3
OW
 
216 ft.
 
 
 
4
OW
 
25 ft
 
 
 
5
OW
 
40 ft
 
 
 
6
WW
6-1/2 sec.
98 ft
 
 
 
7
WW
 
25 ft
 
 
 
8
WW
 
25 ft
 
 
 
9
WW
 
25 ft
 
 
 
10
WW
6-3/5 sec.
90 ft
 
 
 
11
WW
6-2/5 sec.
100 ft
 
 
 
12
WW
9 sec.
140 ft
 
 
 
13
WW
8-3/5 sec.
132 ft
 
 
 
14
WW
 
123 ft
 
 
 
15
WW
7 sec.
150 ft
 
 
 
16
WW
5-1/5 sec.
112 ft
 
 
 
17
WW
8 sec.
160 ft
 
 
 
18
WW
9-1/2 sec.
150 ft
 
 
 
19
WW
9-1/4 sec.
159 ft
 
 
 
20
WW
6 sec.
120 ft
 
 
 
21
WW
13 sec.
230 ft
 
 
 
22
WW
12-4/5 sec.
212 ft
 
 
 
23
OW
 
180 ft
 
 
 
24
OW
 
111 ft
 
 
 
25
OW
5-1/4 sec.
120 ft
 
 
Sep 30
 
 
 
 
 
Lorin Wright, who arrived at Kitty Hawk on the morning of September 30, witnessed Wright gliding experiments carried out between this date and October 10.
 
1
OW
 
183 ft
 
 
2
OW
8-1/5 sec.
191 ft
 
 
3
WW
7-2/5 sec.
145 ft
 
 
4
WW
5 sec...
78 ft
 
 
5
WW
5-1/4 sec..
125 ft
 
 
6
WW
8 sec..
150 ft
 
 
7
WW
7 sec.
150 ft
 
 
8
WW
5-3/4 sec.
132 ft
 
 
9
WW
25 ft. per sec. (ca. 6-1/2 sec.)
162 ft
 
 
Oct 1
 
 
 
 
 
George A. Spratt arrived in afternoon and witnessed Wright gliding experiments between this date and October 17.
 
1
WW
 
101 ft
 
 
2
WW
7-1/5 sec.
150 ft
 
 
3
WW
9-4/5 sec.
180 ft
 
 
4
WW
3-3/5 sec.
93 ft
 
 
5
WW
8-2/5 sec.
165 ft
 
 
6
OW
 
129 ft
 
 
7
OW
 
133 ft
 
 
8
OW
8 sec.
142 ft
 
 
9
OW
 
150 ft
 
 
10
OW
8-3/5 sec.
162 ft
 
 
11
WW
 
310 ft
 
 
12
WW
ca. 25 sec.
320 ft
 
 
13
OW
9 sec.
183 ft
 
 
14
OW
5-1/4 sec.
123 ft
 
 
15
OW
9-1/4 sec.
176 ft
 
 
16
OW
9-1/2 sec.
202 ft
 
 
17
WW
11-4/5 sec.
226 ft
 
 
18
WW
 
312 ft
 
 
19
WW
 
238 ft
 
 
20
WW
18 sec.
287 ft
 
 
21
OW
7 sec.
156 ft
 
 
22
WW
11-1/2 sec.
205 ft
 
 
23
WW
10-1/5 sec.
210 ft
 
 
24
OW
7 sec.
156 ft
 
Oct 2
 
 
 
 
 
Only a partial record of glides was kept.
 
1
WW
16 sec.
252 ft
 
 
2
WW
22 sec.
328 ft
 
 
3
WW
 
320 ft
 
 
4
WW
 
351 ft
 
 
5
OW
 
217 ft
 
 
6
OW
 
216 ft
 
 
7
WW
24-1/2 sec.
506 ft
 
 
8
WW
24-1/2 sec.
504 ft
 
 
9
WW
23-1/2 sec.
550 ft
 
Oct 3
 
 
 
 
 
No records were maintained for glides made in the morning and only a few for those made in the afternoon.
 
1
OW
 
279 ft
 
 
2
OW
14-1/4 sec.
315 ft
 
 
3
WW
12-1/5 sec.
189 ft
 
 
4
WW
 
318 ft
 
 
5
WW
8 sec.
168 ft
 
 
6
WW
13-1/4 sec.
255 ft
 
Oct 8
 
 
 
 
 
Octave Chanute and Augustus M. Herring, who had arrived at Kitty Hawk on October 5, were present at glides made on October 8, 9, and 10.
 
1
WW
3 sec.
45 ft
 
 
2
WW
12 sec.
180 ft
 
 
3
WW
9-1/2 sec.
180 ft
 
 
4
WW
10-1/4 sec.
135 ft
 
 
5
WW
11-2/5 sec.
225 ft
 
 
6
WW
12-4/5 sec.
235 ft
 
 
7
WW
 
short glide
 
 
8
WW
13-1/5 sec.
237 ft
 
 
9
WW
 
short glide
 
 
10
WW
9-2/5 sec.
162 ft
 
 
11
OW
8-2/5 sec.
148 ft
 
 
12
OW
8-1/2 sec.
151 ft
 
 
13
OW
9-3/5 sec.
170 ft
 
 
14
OW
9 sec.
165 ft
 
 
15
OW
7 sec.
160 ft
 
 
16
OW
6 sec.
155 ft
 
Oct 9
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
6-1/2 sec.
ca. 110 ft
 
 
 
2
OW
6 sec.
120 ft
 
 
Oct 10
 
 
 
 
 
Many glides were undertaken on this date, but there are no available data on the time and distance of the glides. The first photograph of a Wright glide in a turn was taken on this date.
Oct 15
 
 
 
 
 
Several attempts at gliding were made in the morning and two flights were made after dinner.
Oct 17
 
 
 
 
 
Data unavailable on glides made on this date, but Orville did most of gliding before dinner and Wilbur made five or six glides after dinner for the purpose of obtaining pictures.
Oct 20
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
OW
 
360 ft
 
 
 
2
WW
 
300 ft
 
 
 
3
OW
 
335 ft
 
 
 
4
WW
 
300 ft
 
 
 
5
OW
12 sec.
300 ft
 
 
 
6
WW
21-4/5 sec.
551 ft
 
 
 
7
WW
24-4/5 sec.
552 ft
 
 
 
8
WW
24-1/2 sec.
525 ft
 
 
 
9
WW
22 sec.
548 ft
 
 
 
10
OW
24-1/4 sec.
505 ft
 
 
 
11
OW
18 sec.
406-1/2 ft
 
 
 
12
OW
16-1/2 sec.
335 ft
 
 
Oct 21
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
WW?
13-1/5 sec.
150 ft.
 
 
 
2
OW
10 sec.
63 ft
 
 
Oct 23
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
WW
 
short glide
 
 
 
2
OW
15-1/2 sec.
336 ft
 
 
 
3
WW
17 sec.
351 ft
 
 
 
4
OW
16-1/4 sec.
426 ft
 
 
 
5
WW
18-3/5 sec.
394 ft
 
 
 
6
OW
16 sec.
380 ft
 
 
 
7
WW
17 sec.
418 ft
 
 
 
8
OW
 
short glide
 
 
 
9
WW
26 sec.
622-1/2 ft
 
This glide set a new duration and distance record.
 
10
OW
24 sec.
540 ft
 
 
 
11
WW
24-1/5 sec.
540 ft
 
 
 
12
OW
 
509 ft
 
 
 
13
OW
21-2/5
615-1/2 ft
 
 
Oct 24
 
OW
 
255-1/2 ft
 
Glides on this date averaged about 200 ft. A number of glides were witnessed by passengers aboard a steamer cruising nearby. In the last 10 days of practice Wilbur and Orville made more glides than in all the preceding weeks. In two days they made about 250 glides in winds ranging from 9 - 16-3/4 meters per second.