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Wright Brothers

The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are credited with inventing, building and flying the world's the first successful airplane. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.​
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." Orville Wright
Wright Brothers frieze in U.S. Capitol dome, Washington, D.C.
142 Media in collectionpage 1 of 2

[Group including the Wright brothers]

Wilbur Wright (no mustache) is in center of back row; Reuchlin Wright next to him, on the left; Lorin Wright is seated lower left.

1902 Wright Brothers' Glider Tests

(October 10, 1902) Historic photo of the Wright brothers' third test glider being launched at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, on October 10, 1902. Wilbur Wright is at the controls, Orville Wright is at left, ... more

The Wright Brothers' First Heavier-than-air Flight

Description (December 17, 1903) On December 17, 1903, at 10:30am at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, this airplane arose for a few seconds to make the first powered, heavier-than-air controlled flight in history. Th... more

Orville Wright in the Wright Flyer

This photo commemorates the first successful sustained powered flight by Orville Wright on December 17, 1903, in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Orville was at the controls and his brother, Wilbur, was runnin... more

Wilber and Orville Wright with Flyer II at Huffman Prairie

(May 1, 1904) Wilbur and Orville Wright with the Flyer II at Huffman Prairie, outside of Dayton, Ohio, on May 1, 1904. ..The Wrights had a much more difficult time testing their aircraft at Huffman Prairie than... more

Wright brothers aeroplane - patented plans, 1908

Four plans: The top plan of the Wright aeroplane / drawings by W.B. Robinson from Wright Brothers' specification in the Patent Office; Fig. 1 - Wright flying machine; Fig. 3 - figures descriptives du brevet fra... more

Wright Flyer Test Flights at Fort Myer, VA

(September 3, 1908) The Wright Flyer demonstrations at Fort Myer, Virginia on September 3, 1908. In January 1908 the Wright Brothers submitted a bid to the U.S. War Department to design a plane for $25,000. Thi... more

The Wright Brothers Flyer arrives at Fort Myer, Virginia (VA) aboard a wagon, attracting the attention of children and adults

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Fort Myer, Arlington State: Virginia (VA) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Pub... more

Bystanders help extricate the mortally wounded US Army (USA) Lieutenant (LT) Thomas Selfridge from the wreck of the Wright Brothers Flyer after its crash at Fort Myer, Virginia (VA). At right, several men attend the injuries of Orville Wright, who lies on the ground at their feet

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Fort Myer, Arlington State: Virginia (VA) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Pub... more

Orville Wrights Test His Glider at Kitty Hawk, NC

(October 24, 1911) This photograph of Orville Wright in his glider at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, was taken on October 24, 1911. His new glider broke all the previous gliding records by actually soaring and sta... more

Wright Brothers' 1903 Aeroplane Kitty Hawk in First Flight

Original caption: Original Wright Brothers' 1903 Aeroplane ("Kitty Hawk") in first flight, December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Orville Wright at controls. Wilbur Wright standing at right. (first flight was 12... more

Wright WF3W-1 Apache

Description (May 19, 1927) Wright WF3W-1 Apache: In its seaplane configuration, an NACA crew prepares the Wright XF3W-1 Apache for take off from the Little Back River. The Apache was used for engine and cowling... more

Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop

(1937) After a brief stint in the printing business, Orville and Wilbur Wright decided to open a bicycle shop together. After initially only selling and repairing bicycles in Dayton, Ohio, the Wright brothers b... more

A replica of the 1911 Wright "B" flyer on display in front of a C-5A Galaxy aircraft to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Wright brothers historic flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The flyable replica was built by volunteers from the base and the Dayton area

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base State: Ohio (OH) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: SSGT Wayne W. Specht Release Sta... more

A replica of the 1911 Wright "B" Flyer on display in front of a C-5A Galaxy aircraft to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Wright brothers historic flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The flyable replica was built by volunteers from the base and the Dayton area

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base State: Ohio (OH) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: SSGT Wayne W. Specht Release Sta... more

Artwork: "The Wright Brothers at Ft. Myer - July 30, 1909". Artist: John McCoy, US Air Force Art Collection

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

Artwork: "The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, December 17, 1903"- Artist: John McCoy

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

A close-up view of the figure seated at the control's of a metal aircraft commemorating the Wright Brothers, located at the Air University's Air Park

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Maxwell Air Force Base State: Alabama (AL) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: TSGT Kit Thompson, USAF Release Status... more

A monument to the Wright Brothers, located at the Air University's Air Park

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Maxwell Air Force Base State: Alabama (AL) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: TSGT Kit Thompson, USAF Release Status... more

A monument to the Wright Brothers, located at the Air University's Air Park

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Maxwell Air Force Base State: Alabama (AL) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: TSGT Kit Thompson, USAF Release Status... more

A close-up view of a marker commemorating the site of the hangar for the Wright Brothers flying school

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Maxwell Air Force Base State: Alabama (AL) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: TSGT Kit Thompson, USAF Release Status... more

An aerial view of the Wright Brothers National Memorial located in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina looking towards the southwest after Hurricane Bonnie

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Kitty Hawk State: North Carolina (NC) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Tom Jaynes, Civilian Release Status: Releas... more

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Actor John Travolta at events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Actor John Travolta at events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Actor John Travolta at events marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites

Historical reenactment activities marking the centennial of the first powered flight, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Photographs Documenting the Secretary's Activities, and Agency Officials, Events, Programs, and Managed Sites