has been said about the influence of bicycle technology on the development
of the airplane, and historians have been quick to point out that chain
drives and tubular steel construction evolved from bicycle making. But
pioneer aircraft borrowed just as much – if not more
– from the carriage
making trade. By the end of the nineteenth century, carriage making had
developed into an engineering science, using metal and wood components to
create a lightweight but durable structure. The Wright brothers borrowed
freely from this science to create airframes. They
even used some carriage parts – the wing tips of their airplanes were
"top bows" designed to support folding buggy tops.
They probably picked up some of this carriage-making knowledge at their Uncle Daniel's farm near Liberty, Indiana. Their grandfather John Koerner had been a master carriage maker, and he had trained his son Daniel – Will and Orv's uncle – whom the brothers visited in their adolescence.
Influence of Carriage Making on Aviation