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Wright brothers. Portrait of Wilbur (1867-1912, left) and Orville (1871-1948) Wright, who built and flew the first powered aircraft. After experimenting with biplane kites and gliders between 1899 and 1902, they converted one of their gliders into a powered aircraft by attaching a 12 horsepower engine and two propellers. This aircraft, called the Flyer, made its first flight on 17th December 1903. The flight only covered 36 metres, and lasted just 12 seconds. After this, the Wright brothers continued to develop their machines, flying publicly for the first time in 1908 near Le Mans, France.
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