While it is important to note some of the earlier contributors to flight, the beginning of flight that led to modern day technologies starts with the Wright brothers. They didn't invent the concept of flying, introduce us to the idea or develop the first flying apparatus, but they were the first to develop and design the first aircraft that could be controlled while in the air.

The 1902 Wright glider had the ability to roll the wings left or right, pitch the nose up or down and yaw the nose from side to side. The concept of roll, pitch and yaw allow the pilot to navigate the airplane in all three dimensions allowing the pilot to navigate an aircraft from place to place.

December 17, 1903Using the information they learned in the developing the 1902 Glider, which had more than 700 successful flights, the Wright brothers moved forward on developing an aircraft that not only could be controlled while in the air but would also be propelled.

On December 17, 1903 they went down in history as the inventors of the airplane with four successful brief flights on a powered aircraft in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Using a 12 horsepower 4 cylinder water-cooled inline reciprocating engine with a wingspan of 40 feet, 3 inches, Orville Wright successfully flew the "Flyer 1" a distance of 120 feet for 12 seconds at 20 feet in the air. The longest flight on that historical day was flown by Wilbur Wright for 59 minutes and a distance of 852 feet.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up