What Are Some Facts About the Wright Brothers?

Orville and Wilbur Wright, commonly known as the Wright brothers, are famous for being the inventors of the world's first successful airplane. The brothers were born in Dayton, Ohio in 1871. Their first flight took place on December 17, 1903, earning them the title, "Fathers of Modern Aviation."

The brothers discovered their love of aviation early in life when their father gave them a toy model helicopter. They were fascinated by this object that did not immediately fall to the ground. The brothers never received a high school diploma and they never married. As they developed their "flying machines," they made a promise to their father that they would never fly together, and they only ever flew together one time.

At one point, the brothers ran a paper together called "The Westside News," which was printed daily. In 1908, while flying a plane for a military demonstration, Orville was involved in the first fatal aviation crash. Lieutenant Selfridge, along for the demonstration, was killed when the propeller gave out. Orville himself was seriously injured and spent six weeks recovering in the hospital.

The Wright brother's famous first plane, "The Wright Flyer," was donated to the Smithsonian in 1948. Neil Armstrong took a piece of the plane with him when he traveled to the moon.