Wright Military Flyer, September 1908

Wright Military Flyer, September 1908

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Wright Military Flyer (Wright Model A) aeroplane at Fort Myer, Virginia, USA, on 17 September 1908, being prepared for the US Army demonstration flight that led to the first fatal aeroplane crash. Sitting on the passenger side is Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge (1882-1908), with the pilot and designer Orville Wright (1871-1948) talking to him. During the flight, in front of a large crowd, a propeller broke, one of the rudders tore lose, and the aircraft nose-dived into the ground from a height of over 20 metres. The aircraft was destroyed and both men were badly injured, with Wright suffering a broken leg and broken ribs. Selfridge died from a fractured skull, never regaining consciousness after the crash.

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