21 ft. 1 in.
40 ft. 4 in.
Named the Wright Flyer, the powered aircraft invented by Orville and Wilbur Wright was the world's first powered airplane to fly under the complete control of its pilot. It took to the air under power for a total of four flights on December 17, 1903. Its longest flight was the fourth. The aircraft flew for some 59 seconds and covered a distance of some 852 feet.
In addition to gathering as much knowledge as possible about aeronautics from their contemporaries, the Wright brothers availed themselves of publications on the subject from the Smithsonian Institution (est. 1846).The Wright brothers chose Kitty Hawk, North Carolina as the place to develop and test their aircraft. The steady winds blowing in from the ocean and the soft sands to set down on made the site ideal.A friend of the brothers from Dayton, Ohio, Charles Taylor, built the unique engine used in the Wright Flyer. He also built the wind tunnel in which the aircraft was first tested. Life guards from the Kill Devil Hills Life Saving Station aided in the effort by bringing supplies to the test site. They also helped move the Wright Flyer to its launch rail.Orville and Wilbur Wright built their Wright Flyer aircraft from wood. Its motor was specifically made as light as possible. The two pusher propellers were turned through a chain mechanism connecting both propellers to the motor. The aircraft was banked through wing warping and turning was coordinated with its rudders.After their initial successful flights, the brothers established a facility outside of Dayton, Ohio. It was there that they continued the refinement of the aircraft and its various components.The brothers initially found buyers for their Wright Flyer in the United States and in France. Two additional demonstration aircraft were built for the buyers, each able to carry a pilot and passenger. The brothers split up in order to simultaneously demonstrate their Wright Flyer aircraft in each country.Although the Wright Flyer was an instant success in France, the U.S. aircraft crashed on its initial flight. However a replacement eventually did fly successfully before an estimated crowd of a million people in New York.With the success of the Wright Flyer, the brothers received many additional aircraft requests. As their aircraft were sold, many unauthorized copies were made. The Wright brothers ended up defending the patent in numerous cases. Fortunately for them, the verdicts were in their favor.Wilbur Wright became ill and only lived until 1912. Orville continued the business for an additional four years before selling it. He lived until 1948.
That's Mark Freeland with a friend launching his Radical RC Wright Flyer. It has a 68 in. wingspan, is 46 in. long and weighs around 53 oz. It needs from 200 to 350 Watt motor power.