Ten feet in altitude, 120 feet traveled, 12 seconds long. That was the first flight in a heavier-than-air machine achieved by Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton, Ohio, at Kittyhawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903.
On the morning of December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright took turns piloting and monitoring their flying machine in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Orville piloted the first flight that lasted just twelve seconds. On the fourth and final flight of the day, Wilbur traveled 852 feet, remaining airborne for 57 seconds. That morning the brothers became the first people to demonstrate sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine under the complete control of the pilot.
No lost luggage, no coffee, no tea, no meal in a basket, either.
Resources on the Wright Brothers’ first flight:
- Today in History, December 17, Library of Congress (good images)
- American Treasures of the Library of Congress
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Online Exhibition: Invention of the Aerial Age
- Scientists and Thinkers, the Time 100: The Wright Brother
- The Wright Brothers National Memorial (U.S. Park Service)
- NOVA on PBS: “The Wright Brothers’ Flying Machine”