Ceremony marking the return of the Wright Flyer, Science Museum, 1948.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Dr Shaw, Director of the Science Museum, London, speaking during the ceremony held to mark the return of the Wright Flyer to America in November 1948. The Wright Flyer was donated to the Science Museum by Orville Wright in 1928, and returned to America after his death in 1948. An exact replica was made by a team at the museum beforehand. Orville Wright (1871-1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) made the world's first controlled and powered flights on 17th December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The brothers developed a flying machine and learnt to fly over several years using gliders before fitting an engine.