World Aviation in 1903

23 March
The Wright brothers file a patent for an aeroplane based on their No.III glider.

18 August
German Carl Jatho ‘hops’ his 9 horse-power, petrol-engined aeroplane a distance of 18 metres (59 feet).

7 October
Samuel Pierpont Langley’s full-size ‘Aerodrome’, piloted by Charles M. Manly, attempts a flight from the houseboat launcher moored in the Potomac River. The ‘Aerodrome’ fouls the launcher and crashes into the river.

12 November
The Lebaudybrothers fly their airship between Moison and Champ-de-Mars,a distance of 60 kilometres (37 miles).

8 December
A second attempt to launch Langley’s ‘Aerodrome’, once again piloted by Charles M. Manly, fails when the rear wing fouls the launcher and the ‘Aerodrome’ falls into the river. With this accident, official American support for the project is withdrawn.

14 December
Wilbur Wright attempts, and fails to achieve, the first sustained flight in ‘Flyer’. The aircraft is slightly damaged.

17 December
At 1035hrs at Kill Devil Hills in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville Wright pilots the Wright Flyer on a 36.5 metre (120 feet) flight lasting 12 seconds.

This is the world’s first manned, powered, sustained and controlled flight by a heavier-than-air craft. Three further flights are made, including one lasting nearly a minute.