On Wright Brothers Day, Suiter Swantz IP commends Orville and Wilbur Wright’s innovation and passion for aviation.

On December 17, 1903, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio changed the course of history with the first successful flight of a manned, engine-powered aircraft.

Orville and Wilbur Wright became interested in flight at a young age when their father brought home a toy rubber band-powered helicopter. The boys were curious and enjoyed building, tinkering, and fixing a variety of mechanical devices. Together they founded a bicycle repair and rental shop in 1893 in their hometown. A successful enterprise, the business provided the money the young men would need to begin experimenting with flight.

Their experience helped them create the Flyer, their hand-made aircraft. Their first successful flight took place on top of North Carolina’s Kill Devil Hill, with Orville lying at the controls. The flight lasted 12 seconds at roughly 120 feet. The brothers ran three more successful flights that day, with the final one lasting nearly a minute at 852 feet. However, a gust of wind flipped the plane, damaging it beyond repair. However, they continued to improve their designs, building and testing new flyers through the early part of the 20th century.

The successful flight of the Flyer marked the first step of America’s aviation journey. Since then, there have been revolutionary strides in aviation, including Amelia Earhart crossing the Atlantic and launching spaceships to the Moon. The Wrights’ accomplishments helped establish the foundation for aeronautical engineering, and changed the course of aviation forever.

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