SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), US aviation pioneer. Wilbur, together with his younger brother Orville, is considered to have developed the world's first successful aeroplane. Previous aeroplane designs had crashed or only flown a short, uncontrolled distance. Combining their engineering skills, the designs of earlier aviation pioneers, and their observations of birds in flight, they developed a series of unpowered gliders. Then, in 1903, they built a powered biplane, the Wright Flyer. On 17 December 1903 at 10.23am, it made its first flight with Orville at the controls. Over the following years the Wright brothers developed and marketed their designs. Wilbur, the driving force behind the work, died of typhoid fever in 1912, aged 45.
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