117 years since the first controlled motorcycle flight

December 17 marks the 117th anniversary of the first controlled flight in history in a powered aircraft designed by brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright.

That feat at the end of 1903, ushering in the era of aviation, lifted the plane about 40 meters in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina for 12 seconds. The great contributor to the Wrights’ flight was control over balance travel. Until then, existing aircraft had designs that made them difficult to control, as tilting the wings to change direction had not been considered.

Before Orville took to the skies on board his plane, his brother had already tried the same device. However, fate would have been Orville and not Wilbur going down in history for making the first flight.

After overcoming many difficulties and conducting hundreds of experiments, the Wright brothers had their plane ready on December 14, 1903, and Wilbur was chosen to test it, although without much success. He managed to get up a little over 3 meters and travel about 20 meters but lost momentum and crashed without being injured. Three days later, Orville succeeded.


Before they invented the first airplane, the Wright brothers sold bicycles in their own shop and didn’t have much technical knowledge, although their passion for flying managed to overcome those obstacles and made them experts in the field.

Before attempting to fly, the brothers even thoroughly documented themselves and contacted all sorts of experts who advised them on things like the bike to use or even the best place to try their luck without any details about the leave question. improvisation.

Before going down in history to build the first airplane that could fly, the brothers had already made many inventions considered revolutionary in their day, including using the wind tunnel to test their aircraft.

The brothers built a rudimentary wind tunnel in their bicycle shop that was powered by a gas engine because they had no electricity in their shop. They used this device to test the aerodynamic properties of the wings of their devices.


The Wright brothers contacted the U.S. Army in 1905 to offer their invention, but their proposal was rejected due to the brothers’ zeal in providing technical details about their aircraft and the bad experiences the military had previously had with others. inventors offer the same.

Two years later, and before the celebrity the brothers had gained in the world with their flights, the military changed its mind and decided to buy him a plane. The inaugural flight turned out to be a tragedy.

Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge on board the plane was killed and Orville, at the controls, was seriously injured after a mechanical failure that caused the plane to crash in 1908 at an exhibit in Fort Myer, Virginia.