Two of the most important people in human history were brothers with a pretty extraordinary dream. Their names were Orville and Wilbur. These two brothers shared the last name of Wright. They were the same Wright brothers who invented modern day flight, as we know it. On the morning of December 17, 1903, the brothers decided to give their flying machine a test run. They notified a number of newspapers ahead of time so that everyone would be able to read of their accomplishment. Only one newspaper bothered to cover the story, and it was probably only because they knew that a story about a crash and tragedy would be great for their newspaper.
After a coin-toss to decide who would pilot the first attempt, Orville jumped in the seat of the machine. He fired up the engine and after a brief moment he started off down the track they had made to help launch the plane into the sky. As the plane headed down the track I am sure the onlookers were anticipating a tremendous failure and expecting the absolute worse.
Then the miracle happened! The plane reached the end of the track and it actually left the ground! Orville was flying! To everyone’s disbelief the flyer was actually using an engine to fly. Can you imagine the excitement?
Orville hardly had time to be excited because after a humble 12 seconds in the air, the plane fell back to the ground smashing the rudder and breaking a lever off of the engine. Orville had only managed to travel a distance of 120 ft.
They had 12 seconds, 120 feet and a broken airplane to their names.
I am sure the spectators were severely disappointed. Some may have even laughed at the weak attempt at flight. They chalked it up as another failure for these two brothers. Many must have concluded that thebrothers were crazy and that engine-powered flight was impossible.
Do you know what the brothers did?