Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) and Orville Wright (1871–1948) were American inventors and aviation pioneers who achieved the first powered, sustained, and controlled flight of an airplane. On Dec. 17, 1903, they made the first controlled, sustained flights in a power-driven airplane near Kitty Hawk, N.C. Of their four flights on that day, the first, made by Orville, lasted 12 sec, and the fourth, by Wilbur, covered 852 ft (259 m) in 59 seconds. The brothers continued their experiments at Dayton and built several biplanes. Record-breaking flights in 1908 by Orville in the United States and by Wilbur in France brought them worldwide fame.
Wilbur and Orville Wright (Gary Bradshaw, University of Maryland)
Overview of the Wright Brothers' Invention Process (NASA)