Photo by Kitty Hawk. The Wright brothers were responsible for inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903.
Orville Wright set up the camera before his flight attempt and had John T. Daniels trip the shutter as Wilbur Wright, running along side the aircraft holding the wing, let go. This first controlled, sustained, powered flight lasted 12 seconds, covered 120 feet at around 10.9 km/h (6.8 m/h). The next two flights covered approximately 53 m (175 feet) and 61 m (200 feet).
Here is Orville Wright’s account of the final flight of the day – “Wilbur (Wright) started the fourth and last flight at just about 12 o’clock. The first few hundred feet were up and down, as before, but by the time three hundred feet had been covered, the machine was under much better control. The course for the next four or five hundred feet had but little undulation. However, when out about eight hundred feet the machine began pitching again, and, in one of its darts downward, struck the ground. The distance over the ground was measured to be 852 feet; the time of the flight was 59 seconds. The frame supporting the front rudder was badly broken, but the main part of the machine was not injured at all. We estimated that the machine could be put in condition for flight again in about a day or two”
More information on the Wright Brothers can be found here