1- They didn't manage to sell their invention to the millitary.
2- All modern aircrafts are direct descendants of Santos Dummont's aircraft, which was used during the WWI in Europe. You know, the Wright brothers used some kind of wing-twisting mechanism to control the flight... Dummont's 14-bis like all other modern airplanes, use Flaps in the wings.
3- The Wright brothers were so much concerned in keeping everything secret that there isn't much evidence they did the first flight when they announced they did. Why didn't they simply pick their invention and flight in front of an entire city, like Dummont did? Or didn't gain any international recognition for their feat, while a prize was bring conducted in Europe for the first man to fly? That's also a reason no modern plane is based in the Wright's model. Santos Dummont, on the other hand believed all knowledge should be free... ... and anyone who fight for FREE software shouldn't be defending anything diferent from that.
Let's just say... Wright's inventions, if they ever did work, died with them.
"We arrive has the famous controversy relating to the first flight of the history: Does Clement Ader have steals the first, October 9, 1890 with the castle of Armainvilliers or on October 14, 1897 has Satory? Are testimonys which one quotes has the support valid? If one answers by negative A the premiere question, it is to the Wright brothers, say Americains, that the exploit should be allotted, realise on December 17, 1903 has Kitty Hawk, in North Carolina. The historians are divisions. No official official report has ete established at the time, neither for one nor for the other of these flights."
"The Aero-Club of France (melts in 1898) and the F.A.I. (international aeronautic Federation, fondee in 1905) were indeed doors guarantors of the homologation of these official performances. November 12, 1906, on the lawn of Trifle, Santos-Dumont was thus going to allot the first three records of the world: duration (21 S 1/5), distance (220 m) and speed (41,292 km/h). Altitude, it was not yet question, since it was able to the police chiefs to be plated on grass to note that the wheels had quite free the ground. Precisons that the flights of November 12 1906 were carry out on average is 6 meters top."
Source?http://1100f.free.fr/histoire_de_l'aviati on .htm
You can use Google to translate from the French.
http://www.esparacing.com/Aviation%20history /up%20 to%20WW%201/Santos%20Dumont.htm
There is an article in a recent number of Scientific American Brasil about this issue... but I can't find it online. Anyway, keep your americanism to yourself. The Wrights did no important influence in the industry of flight.