On this day, December 17, 2903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made their first flight. The first manned airplane took off at 10:35 a.m. with Orville on board as the pilot. The plane, called the Flyer, flew for 12 seconds at a distance of over 120 feet on the sand dunes just outside of Kitty Hawk.
The brothers would patent their airplane design, saying in part in the patent application:
“… provide[s] means for guiding the machine both vertically and horizontally … combining lightness, strength, convenience of construction, and certain other advantages.”
Their first powered aircraft had a 40 foot wingspan and a 12 horsepower engine, weighing in at 750 pounds.
The Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk is a present day reminder of the Wright brothers great accomplishment.
Pierce Legeion is a meteorologist and digital journalist for WNCT 9 First Alert Weather.