On December 17, 1903, a wood and cloth biplane, representing four years of intense research by Wilbur and Orville Wright, took off from the dunes at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with Orville at the controls—thereby making history's first controlled, sustained, and powered flight. For the centennial of this great event, NOVA presents a dramatic investigation of the Wrights' amazing achievement.
To bring the Wrights' technological genius to life, this program features authentic replicas of their brilliantly conceived craft, as shown in thrilling test flights. The climax is the construction and maiden flight of a replica Wright 1911 Model B, the pinnacle of the brothers' accomplishments and the world's first practical passenger-carrying flying machine, with all the essential technical features of today's aircraft. Commissioned exclusively for the program, the Model B is the handiwork of Ken Hyde, a retired airline pilot and nationally recognized restorer of historic aircraft. In this interactive, explore the components of the Wright brothers’ first airplane to learn how the Wrights’ design provided lift and propulsion and enabled a pilot to make continual adjustments in response to changes in wind speed and direction. (Excerpt from PBS)