The first powered flight flew from Paris to Trappes, France. Baptiste Henri Jacques Giffard flew a dirigible this distance, which is equivalent to 16.8 miles, on September 24, 1852.Continue Reading
The Wright brothers are often credited with the first powered flight in history. Their flight occurred on December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, NC. This flight was powered, but it was also manned, controlled and in a machine that was heavier than air. There were, however, other powered flights prior to the famous one at Kitty Hawk. The Giffard dirigible, for example, was a manned, controlled and powered flight. It was not heavier than air, however, and therefore is in a different category than the Wright brothers' airplane.
The very first men to fly were two Frenchmen by the names of Francois Laurent le Vieux d'Arlandes and Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier. They flew the first manned hot air balloon on November 21, 1783. The flight lasted for 25 minutes and they traveled about 5 1/2 miles, reaching an altitude of 3,000 feet.
The first helicopter flight was attempted in 1907, and the first successful helicopter flight was in 1936. In 1961, the Vostok gained recognition as the first manned space flight and, in 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon.Learn more about Airplanes & Helicopters