Wright Brothers Invent Airplane in Dayton, Ohio

1899-1906 - Through the invention of powered flight, Wilbur and Orville Wright made significant contributions to human history.

In their Dayton, Ohio, bicycle shop, these two men, self-trained in the science and art of aviation, researched and built the world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine capable of free, controlled, and sustained flight.

The first flight was at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, and the site is now part of Wright Brothers National Memorial.

The Wrights also built and flew the world's first practical airplane. At their flying school, just northeast of Dayton, on Huffman Prairie, they trained more than one hundred military and civilian aviators, many of whom became leading figures in aviation in the following decades.

Orville and Wilbur Wright

Photo courtesy of Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company

Orville (left) and Wilber (right) Wright.

The Wright Flyer III

Photo courtesy of Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company

The Wright Flyer III was considered by most the first practical aeroplane in history. It could remain aloft for more than 30 minutes, establishing an endurance record on October 5, 1905. It had larger booms than it's predecessors so as to better support the forward elevators and rear rudder.

The Wright Cycle Company

Photo courtesy of Special Collections and Archives at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

The Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio


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Historic flights at Huffman Prairie June 23, 1905 - The Wright Brothers' Achieve Successful Flight Of The Flyer III

The first flight of the Wright Flyer III is made at Huffman Prairie, outside Dayton, Ohio. The Wright Brothers' first fully controllable aircraft is able to turn and bank and remain aloft for up to 30 minutes.

It was at Huffman Prairie that the Wright Brothers successfully mastered the mechanics of controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flight. The location of their 1904 hangar is not precisely known.

The Wrights made 50 flights while operating out of their 1905 hangar.

October 5, 1905 - (left) Wilbur Wright is shown flying the Wright brothers' plane over Huffman Prairie near Dayton, Ohio, October 5, 1905. This was their longest flight in 1905, 24.2 miles, proving their theory of controlled flight. Huffman Prairie is near the current Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio.