Wright Flyer I (1903)
On December 17, 1903, the Wright Flyer I successfully made the first powered, sustained and controlled flight in history. This aircraft was designed and built by the two brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright who ran a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. The Wright brothers, fascinated with aircraft since their childhood, began a series of experiments with a sail-plane in September, 1900 at a small fishing village by the Atlantic coast, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
During the following summer, the brothers tested a pilot-controlled sail-plane whose wingspan was nearly 7 meters. The result was not satisfactory at all due to its insufficient stability.
Back to Dayton after many experiments, the Wrights carried out an intensive program of research, including the testing aerofoil section in a self-made wind-tunnel as well as re-working all their aerodynamic problems. As a result, the world's first controllable sail-plane was completed. Based on the many experiments with this No.3 sail-plane, the Wrights constructed the Flyer I, the first engine-drive aircraft.
On the day of maiden flight, the Flyer I, piloted by Orville, recorded a flight of 12 seconds, and 36 meters in distance. This was the very first step of man towards flying in the sky, a constant dream of mankind since the ancient time. - by Hasegawa
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