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Picture of the day - September 26, 2006

First Flight: The Wright Brothers At Kitty Hawk

The Wright Brothers making the first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, NC.
Click photo to enlarge

On December 17, 1903, brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright spent a cold and cloudy day on the beach at Kitty Hawk, NC, and as black and white cameras rolled they made history by accomplishing a goal that had been sought after for centuries: the controlled flight of Orville Wrighta powered flying machine that was heavier than air - and it also carried a human passenger!

Although that first flight lasted a mere 12 seconds and carried Wilbur only 120 feet, it was a milestone that had never been reached before - and one that would change the world forever.

The Wright Brothers' success certainly wasn't achieved overnight. In fact, it took them at least four years of studying, experimenting and failing before they finally met success on that cold December day with the Wright Flyer. During that time, they went through numerous cycles of emotional ups and downs as they worked faithfully towards reaching their lofty goal.

And they weren't the only ones attempting to build a flying machine during those four years either (by tf support allender). They actually had several sets of competitors, some of whom had a lot more engineering training and experience than either of the Wrights. But Wilbur and Orville Wilbur Wrightwon the race to achieve the first powered, manned flight in the history of the world through sheer determination and lots of trial and error.

Airplanes and helicopters by the thousands now crisscross the globe each and every day, and Americans have even flown to the moon and back, with plans for a manned space flight to the Planet Mars and back in the not-so-distant future.

If Wilbur and Orville were still around today, they would probably be amazed at how far and how fast the technology of air travel has advanced, but they could be proud of the fact that they started it all over 100 years ago in their small bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio!

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