and Wilbur Wright
are credited with in December 1903 launching the first aircraft off the ground on the beach of Kitty Hawk
, North Carolina
It is not so widely known that their uncle, a protestant bishop
, (their father was one, too, by the way) only a short time before, in a statement that swept America
, had publicly announced that "of course" man would never fly.
Some other interesting factoids
- The Wright brothers were actually from Dayton, Ohio, where they ran a bicycle shop. Their first plane was called the "Wright Flyer", named, bizarrely enough, after one of their bicycles.
- During their final 84 days of constant work at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk to get their plane working, they mostly lived off beans.
- Neither of the Wright bothers was married.
- They never called their invention "airplane", they called it "flying machine"
- Dayton, the brother's hometown, showed so little interest in their invention that it only gave them a parade 6 years after the event.
- Early pilots were often called "aeronauts", or "aviators", with the "a" pronounced short like in "navigator".