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Wright Flyer Test Flights at Fort Myer, VA

Wright Flyer Test Flights at Fort Myer, VA

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(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. This bid came as a response to a War Department request issued a month earlier for a "Heavier-than-air Flying Machine." While Wilbur Wright went off to Paris to promote the Wright Flyer, Orville Wright stayed in Dayton, Ohio to design a plane for the Army Signal Corps. By August Orville's plane was ready and he headed to Fort Myer, Virginia, where the air trials were to take place. From September 3, 1908, to September 17, 1908, Orville performed test flights for the Army. On September 17th a split propeller caused the plane to crash, injuring Orville and killing his passenger, Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge. In spite of the crash the Army believed that the Wright plane would work. In July 1909, when Orville was able to fly again, he completed the test flights and surpassed all of the Army's requirements for a military plane: to carry a passenger for at least 125 miles at a speed of 40 miles per hour and stay aloft for at least one hour, easily transportable, controllable and steerable at all times and in all directions, and land without damage. On August 2, 1909, the Signal Corps accepted the Wright Flyer as the world's first military aircraft, naming it Signal Corps Airplane No. 1...Image # : cc-413

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

NASA Photo Collection

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1908
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