A performance evaluation of the 1911 Wright Brothers Model B aircraft and propeller is to be presented. Background, contemporary aviation history, and the Wright analysis will precede the evaluation in order to recreate the situation in which the Brothers were operating. Following this brief history, theories regarding propellers will be examined in order to understand better an efficiency evaluation. Finally, theoretically generated data will be compared to the known values at the time of the Model B's flight. Theoretical data will be gathered from two sources; (1) a software program dedicated to the efficiency prediction of propellers, and (2) a drag study conducted on the Model B aircraft itself. The inputs for the software program will be discussed as well as the procedure for operating the software. Outputs will include graphs, specifically efficiency and available power at certain speeds. Following this chapter will be a drag study of the Model B aircraft, which will incorporate the software graphs and produce the aircraft's cruise speed and climb rate. A final chapter will discuss these results and recommend further avenues of study. Final results of the performance evaluation of the 1911 Wright Model B aircraft have shown relatively close correlation to the original numbers measured and calculated by the Wright Brothers themselves. Cruise speed and overall efficiency as predicted by the software program and the drag study respectively, match closely with the target numbers found in the notebooks of the Wrights. These numbers can be found in the final chapter.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Airplanes--Design and construction--Case studies; Propellers--Design and construction--Case studies; Aeronautics--History; Wright, Orville, 1871-1948; Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Kochesberger, Kevin

Advisor/Committee Member

Nye, Alan

Advisor/Committee Member

Ogut, Ali


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TL671.2 .E43 1999


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