This Month in History

Regan Tunstall

First Successful Take-Off
On December 17th, 1903, the Wright brothers successfully flew an aircraft for the first
time in history. Before adding power, the Wright brothers had a biplane glider with a steering
system based on a movable rudder. They then designed a 12-horsepower internal combustion
engine with help from a man named Charles Taylor. The aircraft was transported in pieces from
Dayton, Ohio to Kitty Hawk in the fall of 1903. Once assembled and tested, Orville Wright made
his first attempt at flight which unfortunately resulted in the engine stalling, causing damage to
the aircraft. They spent three days making repairs, and then on December 17th made their
second attempt. In front of five witnesses, Orville piloted the aircraft, which stayed aloft for 12
seconds and covered 120 feet. Wilbur and Orville took turns flying the plane three more times
that day, the last one staying airborne for 59 seconds covering 852 feet.

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