The Wright Flyer, 1903.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Replica. Orville Wright (1871-1948) and his brother Wilbur (1867-1912) were self-taught American aeroplane pioneers. They developed a flying machine and learnt to fly over several years using gliders before fitting an engine.They became the first to fly in a heavier-than-air machine, when on 17th December 1903 their aeroplane - of which this is a replica - made the world's first controlled and powered flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Encouraged by this, they abandoned their cycle busines and patented their flying machine, and in 1909 formed an aircraft production company. The original aeroplane was donated to the Science Museum, London, by Orville Wright but was returned to the United States in 1948. This exact replica modelled from the original was made by a team at the museum beforehand. Cut out against a white background.