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First Flight December 17, 1903 Wright Flyer Airplane 1:24
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To provide adequate lift for large gliders, the Wright brothers needed to find a place with more wind than was typical anywhere near Dayton. In November 1899, Wilbur wrote to Willis L. Moore, Chief of the U.S. Weather Bureau, asking about high wind conditions throughout the country. The first rural place on the list Moore sent back was Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. During the years 1900, 1901, and 1902, Orville and Wilbur experimented at Kitty Hawk with kites, gliders, and a wind tunnel they built to test wing design. The Wright brothers developed the first effective airplane, and made the historic first airplane flight in 1903.
In 1905, the Wright brothers built an airplane that could fly for more than half an hour at a time. In 1908 Orville made the world's first flight of over one hour at Fort Myer, Virginia, in a demonstration for the U.S. army, which subsequently made the Wright planes the world's first military airplanes. That same year Wilbur made over 100 flights near Le Mans, France; the longest one, on Dec. 31, a record flight: 2 hours, 19 minutes.
The brothers never married. Wilbur Wright died at age 45 of typhoid. Orville Wright died of a heart attack at age 77.
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