Inventing a Flying Machine
1899 - Getting Acquainted with Aeronautics 1900 -  Glider trials at Kitty Hawk 1901 - The biggest glider yet 1902 - Close to a true airplane 1903 - The 1903 Flyer - The first successful airplane 1904 - The first circular flight 1905 - The first practical airplane
Between 1899 and 1905, the Wright brothers conducted a program of aeronautical research and experimentation that led to the first successful powered airplane in 1903 and a refined, practical flying machine two years later. All successful airplanes since then have incorporated the basic design elements of the 1903 Wright Flyer.
The genius of Wilbur and Orville lay not only in the singular act of getting a flying machine into the air, but also in the approach they evolved and employed to create the technology of flight. Their method of evaluating data gathered by testing an aircraft in flight, then refining the design based on those results, remains an essential tool in aerospace research and development.
Significant Milestones
August 1899
October 1900
Fall 1901
December 17, 1903