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The Wright Flyer of 1908, with Orville Wright (1871-1948) at the controls. Orville and his brother Wilbur, owners of a bicycle-making firm, began to experiment with heavier-than-air flight in 1896. The world's first sustained powered flight was made by Orville on 17 December 1903 near Kill Devil Hill, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. That first flight, made in the 12 horse-power, chain-driven Flyer I, lasted for about 12 seconds. It covered a distance of 36.5 metres (120 feet) at an airspeed of 48 kilometres/hour (30 miles/hour), a groundspeed of 10.9 kilometres/hour (6.8 miles/hour) and an altitude of 2.5-3.5 metres (8- 12 feet).
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