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Orville Wright: The Art and Science of Aviation, 1914

Breaking Barriers

Having solved the control issue, the Wrights turned to the project of adding power to their craft, sufficient to support the added weight of a pilot in the next aircraft they would build. The airplane they designed and took to Kitty Hawk in 1903 contained a lightweight gasoline engine. On December 17, this craft broke through the manned flight barrier—the first lasting, controlled flight by a powered airplane.

The next step was to turn this prototype into a practical, everyday reality and so the Wrights built an airfield in Ohio and spent the next two years on test flights and progressive improvements in the aircraft's design. In 1905, they had a reliable aircraft ready for sale.