The first airplane was invented in 1903 by Orville and Wilbur Wright. Their historical flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., was the first time a machine with a human passenger flew under its own power. The plane rose 10 feet in the air, flew 120 feet and landed after 12 seconds.
The precursor to the airplane was the glider, a device that had no flight controls and used wind power to fly. The Wright brothers first tested their airplane components on gliders, trying out more than 200 sets of wings as they perfected their model. The first airplane included a 12-horsepower engine that was based on an automobile engine.