Special "100 years of aviation"

The year 1903…

The 17th of December 2003.... On this very day it was exactly 100 years ago when Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first powered flight in history.
Modern aviation had started. After 30 meters the Flyer landed. It was a short flight, but memorable. For the first time in history man succeeded in flying an aeroplane heavier than air.*
Unbelievable in a time people did not even take the motor car serious.

Did the brothers invent the aeroplane themselves? No. In the history of aviation a lot of people were occupied with that thousands of years old dream: flying like a bird.

Many people contributed to aviation. Every time the pioneers of aviation went further where others had stopped or did not know how to continue.
With a lot of trial and error, in 1903 the modern aeroplane emerged. These pages will tell the history of the aeroplane in short.
Click on the links below and they will show you the pages.

*) The first.... That's a tricky issue. The French state that their famous fellow-countryman Clément Ader was the first. The German Gustav Weisskopf is said to have made a flight in the USA, in 1901, but why did nobody know? There were papers, the Scientific American, etc. And we have the Newzealander Richard Pearse  who would have made a flight on March 31st 1903 with an aeroplane made of bamboo, tubes and wire. This was not known to the world until fifty years later.

However, Wilbur en Orville Wright deserve to be recorded "as first" in the history books by their way of working, thorough research and the dissimination of their ideas.




All published photographs and drawings originate from the Internet. Thanks to NASA, several universities and private collections.
Remarks and supplements please to:


Hans Walrecht

Last changed: 28-08-2022