There is something quintessentially American
about Orville and Wilbur Wright's historic achievement at Kitty
Hawk on December 17, 1903. They worked independently, as most American
heroes have done. Their intense preoccupation with their airplane
was fueled not by economic necessity -- income they already had,
from their bicycle business -- but mostly from their imaginative
determination to cross one of the last technological barriers to
human flight- stability in the air.
The Chronology and Flight Log presented here were collected and
published by the Library of Congress in 1971 to commemorate the
100th anniversary of the birth of Orville Wright. The Wright brothers
quest for powered flight spanned many years and took them many thousands
of miles from their home in Dayton, Ohio. The Flight Log and Chronology
have been assembled here from the Wright's own records and those
of their contemporaries.
The Wright story did not end on December 17, 1903 with Wilbur's
flight of 120 feet on the sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina; but
grew as they took their invention to Europe. Their demonstrations
of the 'Wright Flying Machine' brought their accomplishment to the
World scene in a way that truly marked the beginning of a new era.
The Chronology captures the excitement of these times in the words
of the men and women who experienced them.