There have been many pioneers in the history of aeroplanes but the first to successfully fly an aeroplane were the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur. Orville and Wilbur were skilled craftsmen and keen experimenters. They owned a business making and repairing bicycles. They were able to bring the value of a scientific approach to the invention of a heavier-than-air machine.
On the 17th of December 1903 they were successful in producing the world’s first powered flight. Wilbur ran alongside the plane, Flyer, as Orville took off on the sand dunes outside a town called Kitty Hawk in North Carolina, USA. The flight lasted just 12 seconds and travelled 37 metres. This distance is less than the wingspan of a modern airliner, but it was a major accomplishment at the time.
The brothers received very little recognition in their home country. People were very sceptical about their achievement. On the 8th of October 1908, Wilbur flew their famous plane, Flyer, in front of a large crowd in France. The next day it was all over the French newspapers.
Orville and Wilbur Wright
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