Wilbur Wright, American Aviator, 18 December 1908.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Wilbur Wright (1867-1912), together with his brother Orville (1871- 1948), was an American co-inventor of aircrafts. They originally designed and built bicycles but changed their interest to flying, producing a controllable glider by 1902, and a year later the first aircraft, Flyer I. This was piloted by Orville on 17 Dec 1903 in the first powered and controlled aircraft flight. The Flyer III, built in 1905, was the first efficient plane and, by 1909, the American army had ordered a military version.