Monday, August 19, 2013
Happy birthday, aero pioneer Orville Wright
It is the birthday of aviation pioneer Orville Wright (1871), who is credited, along with this brother Wilbur, with building the world's first successful airplane because they concentrated on designing a three-axis control to allow the pilot to steer the flying machine. After years of the brothers' experimenting, Orville finally piloted the first powered aircraft on December 17, 1903 on sand dunes near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The world took little note. There were only five witnesses. It was not until Wilbur's flight in August 1908 in Paris the public acclaimed the Wright brothers' achievement. The following month, Orville flew their flying machine for more than an hour for U.S. Army officials in Virginia. Despite the caption, the video is from a later demonstration, not 1903.