The Wright Brothers

Inventor / Aviator

Born: 16 April 1867 (Wilbur) and 19 August 1871 (Orville)
Died: 30 May 1912 (Wilbur) and 30 January 1948 (Orville)
Birthplace: Millville, Indiana (Wilbur) and Dayton, Ohio (Orville)
Best known as:

Inventors of the airplane

Brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright built and flew the first airplane in human history. The brothers were engineers and tinkerers who founded the Wright Cycle Comany in Dayton, Ohio in 1892. While the bicycle business sustained them, they began to experiment with kites, gliders and other flying machines, always with an eye to creating a powered machine that could carry a man aloft. Their first successful flight, with Orville at the controls, took place at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on 17 December 1903. The plane covered 120 feet in about 12 seconds; a short flight, but enough to make history. Others had flown in balloons and gliders, but the Wrights' creation was the first in a manned, motor-powered, heavier-than-air craft.

Extra credit:

The Wright Brothers' first flight is featured on the back of the North Carolina quarter, released by the U.S. Mint in 2001.

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