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November-December 2013

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December 17, 1903: Wright Brothers' First Flight

Air travel has become so commonplace in recent years that it is easy to forget that its humble beginnings date to just over a century ago, when brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright realized a dream that has been a part of humanity since the ancient Greek myth of Icarus.

The Wright brothers, who owned a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, had become interested in the concept of powered flight after studying the work of German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal. The road to the first powered, heavier-than-air flight, however, was paved with years of experimentation and trial-and-error with powerless gliders. 

Contributing Editor SEAN POTTER is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM), Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM), and science writer with an interest in weather history.       

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