In a field south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, exactly 118 years ago today, Dec 17th, 1903, Orville Wright took off in what is described as “the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft.” He and his older brother, Wilbur, were mechanics from Dayton, Ohio. What they invented has revolutionized the world.
On Dec 17th, 1903, the world saw exactly one flying machine take to the air with one passenger, on a brief 12 second flight. Today, on average there are around 100,000 commercial flights daily around the globe. If the average flight has 150 passengers, then that means 15 million people fly every day. (That’s just commercial aviation and does not include general aviation.) From one per day to 15 million a day in just over a century is phenomenal.
Orville died in January 1948. What amazing advances in aviation was he witness to? He lived long enough to see Chuck Yeager break the sound barrier on Oct 14th, 1947. Humans, I tell you, are ingenious little critters.