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Profile of the Day: Orville Wright

On this day in 1871, pioneering aviator Orville Wright was born. In 1903, Orville and his brother Wilbur made history by making the world’s first sustained, man-powered, heavier-than-air flight.

Image: Orville Wright / Library of Congress

Orville Wright was born on August 19, 1871 in Dayton, Ohio to Milton Wright, a bishop, and Susan Koerner. He was the sixth of seven children. Growing up, Orville and his siblings were encouraged to pursue their intellectual interests and curiosities. As children, Orville and Wilbur developed a fascination with aviation after their father gifted the brothers with a toy helicopter.

After achieving success manufacturing their own bicycle designs, the Wright brothers set their focus on developing the first successful airplane. Finally on December 17, 1903, the brothers brought their aircraft, the Wright Flyer, to test at Kitty Hawk. With Orville as the pilot, the plane took off and stayed in the air for 12 seconds and traveled for 120 feet. The test flight marked the very first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight. In 1906, the Wright brothers received a patent for their flying machine.

In 1929, Orville became one of the original members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and served for 28 years. He died on January 30, 1948 at the age of 76.

Did you know that each year Orville Wright’s birthday is celebrated as National Aviation Day?

View Orville Wright’s Geni Profile

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The post Profile of the Day: Orville Wright first appeared on The Geni Blog.


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