Wright Brothers' Second Signal Corps aircraft, Fort Myer, Virginia, USA, c 1910.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph showing the Wright Brothers' Second Signal Corps aircraft being manoeuvred on its dolly wheels. It is shown at Fort Myer, Virginia, USA. This was the second military aircraft produced by the Wright Brothers, the pioneers of powered manned flight. In January 1907 they submitted a bid to the US Army Signal Corps to build a military version of their aeroplane. Orville Wright performed test flights of the machine for the Army in August and September 1908. Despite a crash which injured Wright and killed his passenger, Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, the Army were persuaded that the aeroplane had military value. The first aeroplane, named Signal Corps Airplane No 1, entered service in October 1909.