The 8 Best Documentaries About The Wright Brothers

Jan 22, 2024 | Best Of, History

The Wright Brothers are some of the most iconic figures in history, and their impact on aviation is felt to this day. From the first powered airplane flights to the modern aircraft we take for granted, their legacy still guides the skies. To understand more about their incredible accomplishments, here are 8 of the best documentaries about The Wright Brothers that will give you an even greater appreciation of their achievements.

1. THE WRIGHT BROTHERS And The Evolution Of Aviation

The Wright brothers were two of seven children born to Milton Wright, of English and Dutch ancestry, and Susan Catherine Koerner, of German and Swiss descent. They were: Reuchlin Wright (1861–1920), Lorin Wright (1862–1939), Katharine Wright (1874–1929), Wilbur Wright (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), Orville Wright (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948), Ida Wright (1873–1948) and Milton Wright Jr. (1870–1917). Their father taught at a local church school and came from a family of moderate means. Wilbur was born near Millville, Indiana in 1867; Orville in Dayton, Ohio in 1871. The Wright brothers’ achievements have been commemorated in numerous ways, including memorials, honors and tributes. The Wright brothers are also honored on the 100 USD bill and the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills North Carolina stands as a tribute to their pioneering achievements.


2. Wright Brothers’ Flying Machine FULL SPECIAL

The show takes a fascinating look at the brothers, their humble origins, and how they achieved the seemingly impossible feat of powered flight. It looks into their meticulous research, which included studying birds in flight for inspiration and building various gliders as part of their experiments. NOVA also interviews experts who comment on the importance of the brothers’ work as pioneers of aviation. The show features vintage video footage, photographs and artifacts that further illustrate the Wright Brothers’ achievements. From one man’s dream of taking flight to the age of powered aerospace travel and beyond, this documentary brings to life the remarkable story of these two inventors who changed the world with their revolutionary ideas.


3. Wright Brothers Documentary – A Documentary On Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers’ incredible story has inspired generations of inventors and aviation enthusiasts around the world. Here are some of the best documentaries that tell their story: The Wright Stuff (2002) – This documentary is narrated by Harrison Ford and chronicles Orville and Wilbur’s personal journey to success, from childhood tinkering to pioneering flight. It includes interviews with historians, pilots, and family members to provide a comprehensive view of the Wright Brothers’ extraordinary accomplishments. The Wright Brothers: Taking Flight (2011) – This documentary features expert interviews from some of the world’s top aviation experts and archival footage to tell the story of how Wilbur and Orville revolutionized transportation. It delves into their childhoods, struggles, and ultimate triumphs that shaped the course of history. The Wright Brothers: From Kitty Hawk to Flight (2015) – This documentary explores how two unknown brothers from Ohio became famous for building and flying the world’s first successful powered airplane in 1903.


4. The Wright Brothers DID Invent the Airplane

The Wright Brothers were undoubtedly the inventors of the airplane. They patented an invention of a flying machine in 1903, and proved that it was possible to control the flight of an aircraft using their 1902 glider. Their invention revolutionized transportation and had an immense impact on society. This documentary focuses on Wilbur and Orville’s passion for aviation, and their dedication to the development of a practical flying machine. It follows the brothers as they conduct experiments, face failure, and eventually achieve success. The documentary also shows how their invention changed the world, as people began to fly from one place to another with relative ease. The documentary provides an in-depth look at this incredible feat of engineering and aviation history.


5. How the Wright Brothers Changed Everything We Know About Flying

The Wright Brothers’ story is a truly inspirational one, but there are many more documentaries that look into their incredible accomplishment. Here’s our selection of the best documents about the Wright Brothers and their impact on aeronautical science: The Wright Stuff – A National Geographic documentary, this film follows the lives of Wilbur and Orville Wright as they go from bicycle repairmen to inventors of the world’s first successful airplane. The Wright Brothers: Inventing the Airplane – This documentary looks at the creative process behind their discovery, and how Wilbur and Orville overcame obstacles to make air travel a reality. The Wright Brother’s Dream – This film follows the brothers’ journey from their childhood in Dayton, Ohio to the skies over Kitty Hawk and beyond. The Race for Flight – This documentary tells the story of how American inventors raced against each other to build a successful airplane before Orville and Wilbur Wright took flight.


6. The Wright Brothers – First in Flight and Family

The Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville, are famous for their invention of the world’s first successful flyer, the airplane. However, they left behind more than just this momentous achievement. Through a number of enlightening documentaries available today, viewers can gain insight into what motivated these two remarkable men to take on such a daring challenge and how it impacted their lives and the lives of those around them. The first documentary to explore the story of the Wright brothers is “The Wright Brothers: First in Flight.” This film takes viewers back to where it all began, with Wilbur and Orville as children living in Dayton, Ohio. It follows their story up through the first successful flight at Kitty Hawk and beyond. Through interviews with family members, historians, and teachers, this film sheds light on how the Wright brothers’ upbringing shaped their determination and creativity.


7. Powered Flight and the Wright Brothers

The documentary follows the Wright brothers as they work together to create this incredible feat of engineering and aviation, from their early experiments with kites, gliders and ultimately, a powered flying machine. Learn about the trials and tribulations of Wilbur and Orville Wright as you witness how their determination ultimately led to success. This documentary will take you through all phases of the invention process, including their innovations in motor design and aerodynamics. The film also delves into the fascinating Wright family history, from their upbringing to their early advancements in aviation technology and ultimately the historic Kitty Hawk flight. You’ll gain an understanding of how this amazing accomplishment was achieved with remarkable determination and innovation from two brothers who were determined to change the course of history.


8. The Tragic Story of the Wright Brothers and the First Airplane Disaster

The Wright Brothers are perhaps two of the most renowned and influential figures in aviation. Their daring experiments, groundbreaking achievements, and contributions to the advancement of aviation technology have made them icons of American innovation. Unfortunately, their story also includes tragedy in the form of an airplane disaster that took their lives in 1912. This documentary delves into the danger and risks associated with the Wright Brothers’ adventures and sheds light on the disaster that took their lives. It explores their bravery, skill, and commitment to achieving their dream of making flight a reality for all mankind. The documentary also examines the legacy they left behind, as well as how modern-day aviation technology continues to utilize some of their pioneering principles.



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David B