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Looking back: The Wright brothers' first flight

Traveling by plane this holiday season? Take a moment to tip your hat to the Wright brothers. On Dec. 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright became the first to fly with a pilot aboard a powered, heavier-than-air machine. 

Library of Congress

First flight, 120 feet in 12 seconds, 10:35 a.m.; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. (Click on the image for a larger version from the Library of Congress).

With Orville at the controls and Wilbur mid-stride, this image shows the Wright Flyer (barely) airborne over Kitty Hawk, N.C.. The flight lasted 12 seconds and spanned 120 feet. Wilbur and Orville Wright had invented the first successful airplane.

Should you happen to be in Washington DC, the Wright Flyer is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The Wright Flyer, on display at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

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