The "Flyer" lifted from level ground to the north of Big Kill Devil Hill, at 10:35 a.m., on December 17, 1903. Orville Wright
piloted the plane which weighed six hundred and five pounds.
The first heavier-than-air flight traveled one hundred twenty feet in twelve seconds. The two brothers took turns during the test flights. It was Orville Wright's turn first to test the plane, so he is the brother that is credited with the first flight.
1903 Technical Advancements
The Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer was similar to their 1902 glider with twin wings, twin rudders, and canard elevators. The plane also carried twin counter-rotating pusher propellers connected by bicycle chains to the 12 horsepower motor. The pilot would lie beside the motor on the lower wing. However, the 1903 Flyers had problem in pitch; and the nose, and consequently the entire aircraft, would slowly bounce up and down. On the last test flight, hard contact with the ground broke the front elevator support and ended the season's flying.