The Wright Way: The Uplifting Story of Human Flight



The Tradition of the Wright Brothers: The Sunset Gliders

Found footage showcases the flight of the Wright Brothers' original plane design over the undeveloped Sunset District in San Francisco.

787 Dreamliner & Boeing's Other Cutting Edge Innovations

John Tracy, CTO of Boeing, goes beyond Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, and highlights the aerospace leader's cutting edge innovations.

The ICON A5: A Plane You Park in the Garage

Steen Strand and Kirk Hawkins, founders of ICON Aircraft, describe the features of their groundbreaking A5 light-sport aircraft. They show video demonstrating the personal aircraft handles more like a Jet Ski than a Cessna.

Mary Roach on the Art of Peeing in Outer Space

Packing for Mars author Mary Roach discusses the early fears about human response to zero gravity in outer space, ranging from eyeballs changing shape to blood ceasing to pump.

As it turns out, humans do need gravity to detect a full bladder. Thankfully, NASA employs an astronaut potty trainer.

Automation Could Lead to Unmanned Commercial Flight

MIT Professor Missy Cummings discusses the impact research into automated flight could have on commercial shipping and passenger air travel.

Burt Rutan: Space Tourism and the Next Giant Leap

Aerospace engineer and  founder of Scaled Composites, Burt Rutan imagines what investing in suborbital and commercial spaceflight means for the future of space technology. 

Mary Roach on Space Hygiene and the Official Nose of NASA

Authors Mary Roach and Jeff Greenwald dive into the dirty world of astronaut hygiene.

They talk about the glamorous job of opening the shuttle's hatch after a two-week mission, space deodorant, and the official nose of NASA, whose job consists of testing everything that goes up on the shuttle for unpleasant odor. Curiously, the Amazon Kindle recently failed to pass the sniff test.

A Low-Tech Solution: ICON Aircraft's Wood Prototype

ICON Aircraft's Steen Strand describes how he prototyped the A5 personal aircraft using a simple wooden model.

He explains that by "cutting corners," his company was able to take advantage of low-tech solutions while gathering vital product information.

Capt. Sully on Aviation Safety in a Turbulent Economy

How safe is flying? "Safe, and getting safer," according to famed pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger.

However, he fears the current state of the economy may deter the "best and brightest" from going into aviation.

Charles Elachi Discusses Sky Crane, Space Robotics

Charles Elachi, Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), discusses the unorthodox design of the sky crane, touching on the importance of sending robots to space in lieu of astronauts. "The solar system is not a very friendly place," he says.

Showing Up for Life: Hero of the Hudson's Highest Duty

Recounting his meeting with President Obama, Highest Duty author and hero pilot Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger discusses staying grounded despite his sudden fame.

Referring to the title of his book, Sullenberger says that society's "highest duty" is to take care of one another.

Mary Roach: NASA Research on Zero Gravity Sex?

Mary Roach, author of the acclaimed Bonk and Stiff, debunks NASA's alleged research on sex positions in a zero gravity orbital environment. "It's the greatest hoax on the Internet," she says.

Roach also recalls what cosmonaut Aleksandr Laveykin, who spent 174 days in space, had to say on sex in space.

The New Frontier of the Commercial Space Race

Naveen Jain, Fiona Harrison, and Will Pomerantz discuss the new frontier of the commercial space race.

About this series

On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers made the "first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight." If they were alive today, they'd be 141 years old and would be (to use 19th century slang) flabbergasted by their legacy: Commercial airline flight with all the creature comforts of home (if you can afford first class); sub-orbital space travel, and ultra lightweight aircraft perfect for the morning commute.