On December 17, 1903 at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the dream of ἀight became reality. Wilbur and Orville Wright, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio would take to the skies.
Having experimented with gliders and wind tunnels the Wright Brothers’ developed a three-axis control (roll, pitch and yaw) this design that would set the standard for future aircraft. The Flyer was constructed mainly of spruce and muslin. The engine was custom built by shop mechanic Charles Taylor. The engine drove two hand-hewn counter-rotating propellers via drive chains similar to those used on bicycles.
Wilbur won the coin toss that would determine the pilot for the first flight attempt on December 14, 1903. The attempt failed when the Flyer stalled and made a hard landing causing minor damage. After completing the repairs, the Brothers tried again on December 17, 1903. Orville was now at the controls, when the Flyer sped down the launch rail and lifted into the air. The first flight lasted 12 seconds and traveled 120 ft. (36.5 m).