The Legacy of Flight
Images from the archives of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
- By David Romanowski and Melissa Keiser
- AirSpaceMag.com, September 14, 2010
The Wrights’ 1902 glider, shown here over Kitty Hawk in the fall of 1903 with their hangar and workshop in the distance, was their last and best experimental glider. They flew it hundreds of times and made many modifications. In its final form, the 1902 glider was the world’s first fully controllable airplane. The glider’s three-dimensional control system was the key to their final success, and it was that system—not the powered 1903 Flyer itself—for which they sought a patent.