dog_in_the_vent: They promised their father they would never fly together after one of them was almost killed in a plane crash. Orville was flying with an army lieutenant, Thomas Selfridge, as a demonstration of the military uses of airplanes. The propeller shattered and Orville did his best to land but the plane crashed, killing Selfridge and breaking Orville’s hip.
Selfridge was the first person to die in an airplane crash, and the Army would later unironically name an air base after him.
For more information check out [Birdmen](https://smile.amazon.com/Birdmen-Brothers-Lawrence-Goldstone-2014-05-06/dp/B01FEK788C), a very well put together read with lots of pictures.
Tumbleweed48: Minor factoid: My grandfather was alive when the Wright brothers first left the surface of the earth, and he was still alive when Neil Armstrong stepped out on the moon.
All that progress, in a single lifetime.
OccludedFug: The Wright brothers did some impressive stuff, practically inventing the maths needed to figure out fixed-wing flight, and they didn’t even have high school diplomas.
Check out the book Kill Devil Hill by Harry Combs (http://a.co/99TncrI) for a decent Wright brothers history,
or this middle-school-level Wright Brothers book that is surprisingly good: http://a.co/1hJiv0z
jcd1974: Stephen Hawking and I never fly on the same plane either, the world would be a lesser place if we were to die in the same plane crash (especially for me).
bankrunfun217: This is a fairly common practice in the world, especially well-to-do families. On several occasions I’ve seen a family group deliberately have 1-2 members fly on a different flight to continue the bloodline/inheritance. Minimizes total net risk.
____o_0____: Wright move, guys.
Warrenwelder: I read they never flew together because Orville never shut up on flights and Wilbur was always getting up to use the bathroom.
Throwwawaycamera: I thought it was because they’re dad asked them? At least that’s what I learned at the Smithsonian.
ledraps: They expect one of us in the wreckage, brother!
nyp27: I have been interested in the story of the Wright brothers for years, and have read many books about them. Oddly, I have never seen anything written about them ever having a romantic relationship in their lives. I know they were very close to their sister Katharine, and also that they never married, but nothing about whether they dated, or ever became romantically involved. Does anyone have any real information about this?
etsuited: I’m not allowed travel on the same plane as some people I work with for the same reason. Company policy which can be tricky sometimes to arrange
GoredonTheDestroyer: That is a fantastically good idea.
GreasyDragon: Honestly they would probably be offended to have it called fear. More likely they looked at it scientifically, as a precaution.
WombatWhitey: Shout out for Dayton!
PrinceHumperTinkTink: Just imagine the philosophy behind this. I can picture the conversation being something like “OK, bro. This model is probably going to kill whoever is piloting it……….. Whose turn is it?”
mysteryfist: True scientists.
SeljD_SLO: 25 years later Herman Potočnik Noordung was already designing space stations (2001 Space Odyssey space station is based on his work) and rocket engines
sailorjasm: TIL Orville had a black kid in his high school. I wonder who that kid was
juniorman00: That is the reason I give my wife to not fly on the same plane with her. She still falls for it.
battleship61: The Royal family does this, as well as the 2 people who know the Coca Cola recipe.
gyrospita: Wish the Polish governement obeyed that rule back in the “wipe out everyone” plane crash incident.
lawinvest: “No Wilbur, you go first. One of us should—err…stay down here—to carry on the research….”
stormpooper86: Not only were they smart. They were also smart.
MCWALLABEE: In high school I learned that the Wright brothers flipped a coin to determine who flew 1st. A few months ago I met a guy who’s friend circumnavigated the globe in a plane he built. After landing and celebrating his accomplishment, he met someone who knew the Wright Brothers personally as a boy. He told him that the coin flip was true, but it was a matter of whoever lost the coin toss, had to fly the plane.
Guy_In_Florida: The Wrights did not just make a flying machine, they were the first aerospace engineers. Orville was able to mathematically quantify that air frame. He knew they needed a motor that produced x amount of thrust given the efficiency of his propeller (he built hundreds). No such motor existed so they built one, weighing exactly what was expected.
In the late 90’s an exact replica was built and was taken to the wind tunnel at Old Dominion. For over a year they tested Orvilles calculations. In the end they could not fault him, he was dead on the money math-wise as to how that aircraft flew through the air. THIS was the true genius of the Wright Brothers. No one, even Professor Langley, was anywhere near Orville in understanding aerodynamics. This is why they were the first to fly a powered aircraft. All other claimants are complete fiction.
MascarponeBR: You should also learn about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Santos-Dumont ! 🙂 this was the man.
Onaimlos: Octave Chanute played a vital role in the Wright Brother’s development of the airplane. Basically, Chanute was a human form of Wikipedia back in the day.
8000k_PCMR: They also had a bitter rival Glenn Curtiss his a motorcycle mechanic and had no experience with crafting his own plane, but his planes is the one we’re using now.
Narradisall: Secretly they were trying to advance aviation whilst plotting to kill the other so that only one would become rich and famous!
Zombie_Gandhi: They also went around the country–and other countries–suing for the rights to own how airplane flight worked. This is why in WW1, American pilots flew French or English, as no one in America was allowed to build planes, save for the Wright brothers.
numismatic_nightmare: Plus flying with both would double the load weight, that’s just smart.
pjf72: I heard once that the inventors of coke wouldn’t fly together in case they both died and no one knew the secret recipe.
ic3mango: It’s amazing that neither of these 2 aviation pioneers died of a plane crash, the sort of feats they managed without adequate data and training entailed significant risk that would surely claimed the lives of one who is less focused and fortunate.
Dunder_Chingis: Two wrongs don’t make a right, but two Wrights make an airplane.
-Nok: We’re the Wright brothers and there can’t be no others
We don’t need to fight we’re the fathers of flight
Representin North Carolina aaight
dshd: My parents wouldn’t fly together when we were young so if there was a crash, we wouldn’t be orphans.
issiautng: What a Ravenclaw thing to decide.
Sim0nsaysshh: My Grandparents used to do this too. They would split the kids between them so if one plane crashed at least the family would survive in part.
MoonHerbert: Sounds like the Wright thing to do.
DemenicHand: Thanks to the Wright brothers i got to own AND drive a used honda accord.
Grolschisgood: So basically like the guys from coke
BroJackson_: A lot of companies do that nowadays. I work for one and there’s a color coded list of people that can’t travel together. We had to go on a trip a few months back and there were 16 of us and we had to charter four private jets.
bezzlege: Memento Mori
ykickamoocow111: The British, German and French did quite a bit of research between 1914 and 1918. They were just that keen on the concept of flying.