On this day in history - December 17th, 1903

On this day in history - December 17th, 1903

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Wright Brothers achieve the first successful flight of a heavier-than-air powered aircraft.

After a series of successful gliders, the Orville and Wilbur Wright designed the Wright Flyer. Their design used a 12 horsepower four-cylinder engine to power its twin eight foot propellers. Its single pilot controlled the Wright Flyer by manipulating a cradle attached to his hips. The frame was made of spruce wood.

On December 14th, 1903, the Wright Brothers failed their first attempt to get the Wright Flyer off the ground. It suffered minor damage that took three days to repair. Orville's first flight lasted 12 seconds and traveled 120 feet. The last flight that day made by Wilbur lasted 59 seconds for a distance of 852 feet. It would be the Wright Flyer's final flight.

Today the Wright Flyer is on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

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