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Orville Wright (1871-1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), photographed at Pau in 1909. Orville is at left (with moustache), Wilbur at centre. From their thriving bicycle business in Ohio, the Wright Brothers gained enough money to indulge their passion in aviation. They built on the work of Lilienthal and Chanute, and even built a wind tunnel to test new wing profiles. They experimented with gliders, before building their first powered aircraft - the Wright Flyer. Powered by a 12 horsepower engine of their own design, the aircraft flew at 10.23 am on 17 December 1903 at Kill Devil Hill in North Carolina. This 12-second flight was the birth of modern aviation.
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