Today in Military History: Dec. 17, 1903, the first flight

First flight, December 17, 1903, Orville piloting, Wilbur running at wingtip. Library of Congress

On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright completes the world’s first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight, in the aircraft “The Wright Flyer I” at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Three other flights are made over the next several hours, the last by Wilbur Wright, covering 852 feet in 59 seconds. A wind gust then upsets the Flyer, seriously damaging it; it never flies again.