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Creation of the first successful flying machine

American aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright of Dayton, Ohio, are considered the fathers of the first successful heavier-than-air flying machine. Through the disciplines of sound scientific research and engineering, the Wright brothers put together the combination of critical characteristics that other designs of the day lacked - a relatively lightweight (337 kg, or 750 lb), powerful engine; a reliable transmission and efficient propellers; an effective system for controlling the aircraft; and a wing and structure that were both strong and lightweight.

At Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first successful flight of a manned, ,heavier-than-air, self-propelled craft called the Wright Flyer. That first flight traveled a distance of about 37 m (120 feet). The distance was less than the wingspan of many modern airliners, but it represented the beginning of a new age in technology and human achievement. Their fourth and final flight lasted 59 seconds and covered only 260 m (852 ft). The third Flyer, which the Wrights constructed in 1905, was the world's first fully practical airplane. It could bank, turn, circle, make figure eights, and remain in the air for as long as the fuel lasted, up to half an hour on occasion.

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