Wilbur Wright with Frank Hedges Butler, Anvours France, 1908.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) and his brother Orville (1871-1948) were self-taught aeroplane pioneers. They were the first to fly in a heavier-than-air machine, when on 17 December 1903 they flew the Kitty Hawk at North Carolina. They patented their flying machine and formed an aircraft production company in 1909.