What Did the Wright Brothers Invent?

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The Wright brothers invented three-axis control and the world's first airplane, the Wright Flyer, a warp-winged, engine-powered, pilot-operated craft that flew 120 feet at Kitty Hawk, N.C. on Dec. 17, 1903. The flight occurred after the success the brothers had with their three gliders.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were brothers who operated a bicycle shop in Ohio. Their first big breakthrough was their invention of the three-axis control system, which, as of 2014, is still the method used to pilot fixed-wing aircraft. Their emphasis on development of a control system is credited with placing the brothers ahead of other aeronautical pioneers of the time. The Wright Flyer was mostly designed and developed at their workshop in Ohio and then transported to North Carolina.