On December 17, 1903, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio, with no formal engineering training defied gravity in their curious flying machine over the dunes of North Carolina’s remote Outer Banks. By making what many consider the first powered, sustained and controlled manned airplane flights, Orville and Wilbur Wright ushered in the era of flight and soared into history.
The first take off
The brothers tossed a coin to see who would first test the Wright Flyer on the sands of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Older brother Wilbur won the toss, but his first attempt on December 14, 1903, was unsuccessful and caused minor damage to the aircraft. Three days later, Orville, in coat and tie, lay flat on his stomach on the plane’s lower wing and took the controls. At 10:35 a.m., the Wright Flyer moved down the guiding rail with Wilbur running alongside to balance the delicate machine. For 12 seconds, the aircraft left the ground before touching down 120 feet away in the soft sands. The brothers exchanged turns at the controls three more times that day, and each flight covered an increasing distance with Wilbur’s final flight lasting nearly a minute and covering a distance of 852 feet