With their new method the Wrights achieved true control in turns for the first time on October 8, 1902, a major milestone. During September and October they made between 700 and 1000 glides, the longest lasting 26 seconds and covering 622.5 feet. Hundreds of well-controlled glides after they made the rudder steerable convinced them they were ready to build a powered flying machine.
Thus, did three axis-control evolve: wing-warping for roll (lateral motion), forward elevator for pitch (up and down) and rear rudder for yaw (side to side). On March 23, 1903 the Wrights applied for their famous patent for a "Flying Machine," based on their successful 1902 glider. Some aviation historians believe that applying the system of three-axis flight control on the 1902 glider was equal to, or even more significant, than the addition of power to the 1903 Flyer. Peter Jakab of the Smithsonian asserts that perfection of the 1902 glider essentially represents invention of the airplane.
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