Wilbur and Orville Wright

Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

Manufacturer: Wilbur and Orville Wright
Engine: Wright 4-cylinder 20 h.p. water-cooled inline.
Speed: Approx. 35 m.p.h.
Wingspan: 40.6 feet
Wing Area: 503 sq. feet
Covering: Cotton
Frame: Spruce and Ash
Length: 28 feet
Height: 8 feet
On December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, NC, the 1903 Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. It flew forward without losing speed and landed at a point as high as that from which it started. The brothers chose Kitty Hawk for their experiments because of its sandy area for soft landings, slopes free of trees or shrubs for gliding, and adequate winds averaging 13 miles per hour.

25th anniversary plaque placed in 1928

Markers showing lengths of first four flights
With Orville Wright as pilot, the airplane took off from a launching rail and flew for 12 seconds and a distance of 120 feet. The airplane was flown three more times that day, with Orville and his brother Wilbur alternating as pilot. The longest flight, with Wilbur at the controls, was 852 feet and lasted 59 seconds.

Naturally, we arrive by air!

Replica of first hangar
When the Wright Brothers began their testing, they had to first take a train from their home in Dayton, Ohio to Norfolk, Virginia, then board another train that took them to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and finally take a boat to the Outer Banks. They shipped most of their supplies and the Flyer ahead of them. We flew there in a fraction of the time!

Engine case from 1903 Flyer

Replica of the Wright's wind tunnel

Telegram informing father of success

"The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport."
-- Orville Wright --

Wilbur Wright birthplace at Millville, Indiana

Wilbur Wright commemorative cigar box
Circa Late 1920s
"A bishop [in the late 19th Century] pronounced from his pulpit and in the periodical he edited that heavier-than-air flight was both impossible and contrary to the will of God. Oh, the irony that Bishop Wright had two sons, Orville and Wilbur! Wright was wrong. Sure of himself, but wrong."

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