On This Day in Time, 112 years ago – on December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully took to the skies, albeit briefly, in their self-built Wright Flyer 1. This event marks the first powered, man-controlled and sustained flight in history!
The first flight, piloted by Orville after he won a coin toss, covered approximately 120 feet over the course of 12 seconds, all at an “altitude” of ten feet! Over the course of the next several hours, both Wilbur and Orville ended up taking two flights each, with each flight growing in both duration and distance.
At the end of the day, the brother’s were attempting to bring the airplane home when it was flipped over by wind gusts and as a result, was severely damaged. After less than a couple of minutes of flight time, the Wright Flyer 1 never took to the skies again.
The aircraft was eventually restored by Orville and was later donated to the Smithsonian, where it resides to this day.