From original notes, sketchy blueprints, and blurry old photos, engineers are building the most accurate reproduction of the 1903 Wright Brothers flyer ever made. What they are learning amazes them.
In August 1901, the Wright brothers were ready to give up. They had spent a frustrating summer testing their latest glider on the beach at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and nothing seemed to go as planned. The glider, a biplane with a 22-foot wingspan, was difficult to control and almost killed Wilbur. It proved even less maneuverable than the glider the Wrights had built and flown the previous year. Wilbur, nursing bruises from his crash in the dunes, was especially depressed.