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Orville Wright, (1871-1948) and Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) were two typical American bothers. Originally workers in a mechanics shop, their knowledge and success with motors, bicycles, and machines eventually lead them to finding the solution to “the flying problem”. Today, the Wright brothers are famously known for inventing the first successful airplane.

On December 17th, 1903 in North Carolina, these brothers created and powered the first ever “heavier-than-air” human flight and they named it “Flyer.” In the next two years, they developed their invention into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft with controls that made these types of flights possible. What’s even more astounding is that Orville and Wilbur invented the “three-axis control” which is still standard for fixed-wing airplanes today! This invention allows the pilot to steer the aircraft and sustain balance.

Wright Brothers Day is observed on December 17th of every year and it commemorates the first flight by the famous duo. The United States gives honor and recognition to Orville and Wilbur for their great accomplishments. The president holds activities including dinners and ceremonies in Ohio and North Carolina, where the brothers were born. In addition, there is a 60 foot tower that sits on a 425-acre area known as Kill Devil Hill which is dedicated to the Wright Brothers.

This National Memorial also holds events on the 17th of each December to honor the place they first flew “Flyer.” Furthermore, many schools across the country also have celebrations including field trips and activities focused on aviation and the Wrights Brothers’ achievements.

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