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Wright Brothers Make First Powered Flight

Wright Brothers First Powered Flight

1903 December 17 - In spite of an underwhelming audience of five people, the Wright brothers made aviation history today when their aircraft managed the first powered flight. Flyer I, or Kitty Hawk as it is more commonly called made four flights in all, the longest lasting almost a minute, achieving 850 ft (276 m) of distance and an altitude of several feet. Orville and Wilbur Wright have been interested in aviation since 1896, when they learned of the European interest in sustained flight. While running a bicycle building shop, they have studied aviation and built kites and to learn the essentials of aircraft control before attempting powered flight. They made 9 successful glider flights in North Carolina while they solved the problems of getting an engine light enough and powerful enough to lift a plane off the ground. In the end, the brothers built their own 12-16 engine and propeller as well as the body of the aircraft. Kitty Hawk weighs only 605 lb (300 is off a trolley rolling along a greased 60 ft (19.5 m) launching track.