Instead, the Wrights turned their attention to securing
their patent and finding customers for their invention.
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However, in 1906 and 1907, several Europeans made short,
straight-line flights of comparable length to the Wrights’
first powered flights. In North America, some notable successes
were achieved by the Aerial Experiment Association. Formed
by famed inventor Alexander Graham Bell in 1907, the A.E.A.
built several powered aircraft, including the first airplane
to fly in Canada, in 1909. The group included Glenn H. Curtiss,
who went on to become the leading producer of aircraft in
the United States before World War I.
Aeronautical activity picked up significantly during the
Wrights’ flying hiatus of 1906–07, but no one
came close to matching the brothers’ flight performance
of 24 1/2 miles at Huffman Prairie in October 1905.