Photos: On this day – August 8, 1908 – the Wright Brothers’ first public flight
Posted by Vern Williams on 08/08/2013 8:13am EDT tags: photos
On this day – August 8, 1908 – Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers’ first public flight.
The Wright brothers made no flights at all in 1906 and 1907. They spent the time attempting to persuade the U.S. and European governments that they had invented a successful flying machine and were prepared to negotiate a contract to sell such machines.
Facing a lot of skepticism in the French aeronautical community and outright scorn by some newspapers that called him a “bluffeur,” Wilbur began official public demonstrations on August 8, 1908 at the Hunaudières horse racing track near the town of Le Mans, France. His first flight lasted only one minute 45 seconds, but his ability to effortlessly make banking turns and fly a circle amazed and stunned onlookers, including several pioneer French aviators, among them Louis Bleriot. In the following days, Wilbur made a series of technically challenging flights, including figure-eights, demonstrating his skills as a pilot and the capability of his flying machine, which far surpassed those of all other pioneering airplanes and pilots of the day.
The French public was thrilled by Wilbur’s feats and flocked to the field by the thousands. The Wright brothers catapulted to world fame overnight.(AP, Wikipedia)
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