SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Wright brothers, US aviation pioneers. Wilbur (1867-1912, right) and Orville (1871-1948, left) 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 petrol engine and two propellers. This aircraft, the Wright Flyer, made its first flight on 17 December 1903, with Orville at the controls. The flight 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. Wilbur, the driving force behind the work, died of typhoid fever in 1912, aged 45.
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