Why Was the Airplane Invented?

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The airplane was invented due to a new century blooming and man’s desire to discover new methods of transportation and discovery. While ground transportation, such as trains and cars, was making headway, a way to travel long distances without the complications of terrain had yet to be discovered.

While many believe that the airplane was invented by the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk, N.C., the first man to fly was New Zealander Richard Pearse in 1902, eight months before the Wright brothers first flew. Pearse, according to witnesses, flew a length of 50 to 400 yards in a heavier-than-air machine. Pearse’s aircraft was the first to use proper ailerons, which allowed the wings to warp and turn the aircraft. Though many credit the invention of airplanes to the Wright brothers, Richard Pearse never reported his inventions because he didn’t know there was any interest in flying.

Though the Wright brothers tested many gliders in the early 1900s, none of them counted as an actual aircraft, and the brothers didn’t achieve flight until late 1903 with their first plane, the Flyer I. The craft weighed over 600 pounds, and Orville Wright was the first pilot. The craft remained airborne for 12 seconds and traveled a little over 120 feet.