Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Anniversary: Powered Flight

On this day in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright accomplished the first powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. They flew 3 successful short flights (the longest 200 feet at 10 feet off the ground) in their Wright Flyer I - a spruce airplane with an engine built in their bicycle shop. They had intended the flights for September but delays pushed the tests until mid-December. The conditions for the first powered flights were horrible - freezing cold with 30 mph winds and icy sand.

(image credit: Orville flying, Wilbur running alongside, photo by John T. Daniels)