Many cultures have built devices that travel through the air, from the earliest projectiles such as stones and spears, the boomerang in Australia, the hot air Kongming lantern, and kites. While there are many competing claims for the earliest powered, heavier-than-air flight, the most widely-accepted date is December 17, 1903 by the Wright brothers. The Wright brothers were the first to fly in a powered and controlled aircraft. Previous flights were gliders (control but no power) or free flight (power but no control), but the Wright brothers combined both, setting the new standard in aviation records. Following this, the widespread adoption of ailerons rather than wing warping made aircraft much easier to control, and only a decade later, at the start of World War I, heavier-than-air powered aircraft had become practical for reconnaissance, artillery spotting, and even attacks against ground positions.
When photographing our magnificent men & their flying machines, I hope to capture the essence of flight – the freedom of flying with the birds!
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