Keeping the Wright Brother’s Legacy Alive

Orville and Wilbur Wright never married or had children. They did however have siblings. Today two descendants of those siblings help bring life to the legacy of first flight left by the Wright Brothers.  

Mandy Wright Lane and brother Stephen Wright are great-grandniece and great-grandnephew of the brothers (who they refer to as Uncle Orv and Uncle Wil).

Their father, Wilkenson Wright, now deceased, personally knew the Wright Brothers and passed down family stories about the two.

Mandy and Steven Wright continue to represent the legacy of flight left by their famous great-grand Uncles at events like the centennial celebration of the invention of the Wrights’ Flyer in Dayton, Ohio in 2003.

“People have such reverence for what the Wright brothers did,” Stephen Wright said. “People channel their feelings for the Wright brothers through us.”

To better represent that legacy, Mandy and Steven study family and published materials about the Wright Brother’s accomplishments.

The Wright Brother’s achieved the First Flight on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk North Carolina with 5 witnesses. Later Orville described the flight as noted on the Franklin Institute website.

“The course of the flight up and down was exceedingly erratic, partly due to the irregularity of the air, and partly to lack of experience in handling this machine. The control of the front rudder was difficult on account of its being balanced too near the center. This gave it a tendency to turn itself when started; so that it turned too far on one side and then too far on the other. As a result the machine would rise suddenly to about ten feet, and then as suddenly dart for the ground. A sudden dart when a little over a hundred feet from the point at which it rose into air, ended the flight. As the velocity of the wind was over the ground against this wind ten feet per second, the speed of the machine relative to the air was over 45 feet per second, and the length of the flight was equivalent to a flight of 540-feet made in calm air. This flight lasted only 12 seconds, but it was nevertheless the first in the history of the world in which a machine carrying a man had raised itself by its own power into the air in full flight, had sailed forward without reduction of speed and had finally landed at a point as high as that from which it started.”

From the legacy of that flight much has been achieved.

Mandy and Steven celebrate their family’s legacy by personifying it. How will your future family celebrate your legacy?


“Wrights’ descendants enjoy a famous legacy “ by Reid Forgrave in The Cincinnati Enquirer July 17, 2003

Franklin Institute website:

National Park Service Website for the Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina:

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