By the time they returned
from Kitty Hawk in 1902, the Wright brothers knew they had
solved the crucial problems of mechanical flight. They immediately
began the process of obtaining their basic flying machine
patent, which they first filed in March 1903. It took more
than three years for the patent to be granted.
U.S. Patent 821,393, was granted on May 22,
1906, to Wilbur and Orville Wright for “new and useful
improvement in Flying Machines.” Note that these drawings
that appeared in the patent are of a glider, not a powered
airplane. The Wright airplane patent—the basis for their
many later patent infringement suits—was for the 1902
glider, not the more famous airplane of 1903.
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