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, North Carolina, USA - 1903 - December 17 – Orville Wright flies an aircraft with a petrol engine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in the first documented, successful, controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flight.


THE MACHINE ACTUALLY FLIES
Successful Trial of Kitty Hawk, N.C., of Wright Brother's Invention.

NORFOLK, Va., Dec. 18. - A successful trial of a flying machine was made yesterday near Kitty Hawk, N. C., by Wilbur and Orville Wright, of Dayton, Ohio. The machine flew for three miles in the face of a wind blowing at the registered velocity of 21 miles and hour and then gracefully descended to earth at the spot selected by the man in the navigator's car as a suitable landing place. The machine has no balloon attachment but gets it force from propellors worked by a small engine.

Preparatory to its flight the machine was placed upon a platform near Kitty Hawk. This platform was built on a high sand hill and when all was in readiness the fastenings to the machine were released and it started down an incline. The navigator, Wilbur Wright then started a small gasoline engine which worked the propellors. When the end of the incline was reached the machine gradually arose until it obtained an altitude of 60 feet. In the face of the strong wind blowing it maintained an even speed of eight miles an hour.

The idea of the box kite has been adhered to in the basic formation of the flying machine. A huge frame work of light timbers 33 feet wide, five feet deep and five feet across the top forms the machine proper. This is covered with a tough, but light canvas. In the centre is the navigator's car and suspended just below the bottom plan is a small gasoline engine which furnishes the motive power for the propelling and elevating wheels. There are two six-bladed propellors, one arranged just below the centre of the frame so gauged as to exert an upward force when in motion and the other extends horizontally to the rear from the centre of the car, furnishing the forward impetus. Protruding from the centre of the car is a huge, fan-shaped rudder of canvas stretched upon a frame of wood. This rudder is controlled by the navigator and may be moved to each side, raised or lowered.


Lewiston Evening Journal
Lewiston, Maine
December 18, 1903

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