Wright Brothers Day is observed on December 17 to commemorate the first successful flight in a mechanically-propelled, heavier-than-air craft. That first flight, which lasted just 12 seconds and covered 120 feet, was made at 10:35 a.m. on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
The two brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, had no high school diploma and no training in engineering. Still, they built their own airplane, the Wright Flyer, and successfully launched it after several failed attempts. While they were not the first to build and fly an aircraft, the Wright brothers did invent the first aircraft controls that ushered in the development of fixed-winged flight. The brothers’ efforts laid the foundations of modern day aeronautics.
For many years, the Smithsonian Institution credited Samuel Langley with building the first machine capable of manned flight. Langley experimented with the Langley Aerodrome but admitted in the 1940s that he had misrepresented his accomplishments, and he finally gave credit to the Wright brothers.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
The Wright brothers were entrepreneurs before they invented the airplane. Orville dropped out of high school to start a printing business. He was soon joined by Wilbur. The brothers then decided to publish a daily newspaper, The Evening Item. After a couple of years, they switched fields and opened the Wright Cycle Company, a bicycle repair and sales shop. The business became successful and financed their experiments in flying.
The Wright brothers continued developing airplanes after their initial success in 1903. They built a two-passenger airplane, which they marketed to the U.S. Army as the Wright Military Flyer. Unfortunately, the demonstration flight crashed, killing passenger Lt. Thomas Selfridge and injuring Orville.
Innovation Is the Key
The Wright brothers proved to the world that innovation is the key to success. They started with one business and tried another while experimenting with a novel idea on the side. They were aware that things could always be improved. Even after the success of their first flight, they did not stop. They continued refining the design of their planes.
At EMS Solutions, we look to great innovators like the Wright Brothers as we develop our business. We work to continue improving our facilities and operations so we can foster the best customer service and churn out the best products. Today’s progress is good, but tomorrow’s must be better. You have our commitment that we will continue to do what it takes to be a trailblazer in our industry.