Orville and Wilbur Wright developed the first powered and controlled human-operated plane to be successfully flown in 1903. The Wright plane had its first four flights on December 17, 1903. Orville Wright piloted the initial flight, traveling 120 feet in 12 seconds while roughly 10 feet off the ground.
The Flyer, as the first Wright plane was known, was based on earlier glider designs dating back to the 1890s. It had a 40-foot wingspan and a prototype aluminum-cast, 12-horsepower gasoline engine that weighed 180 pounds. A December 14 maiden flight attempt by Wilbur Wright ended in failure when the plane stalled out on takeoff, crashing and damaging the spruce and muslin craft.