The Wright Brothers first powered and sustained flight, 17 December 1903.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by John Daniels. Orville Wright (1871-1948) at the controls of the 'Flyer' at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA, watched by his brother Wilbur (1867-1912), on foot. One of three enlargements of photographs, from negatives lent by Major A Radclyffe Dugmore. Orville and Wilbur Wright were self-taught American aeroplane pioneers. Their success at Kitty Hawk encouraged them to abandon their cycle business and patent their flying machine. They formed an aircraft production company in 1909.