The Wright Brothers: Orville (1871-1948) and Wilbur (1867-1912) were American inventors credited with inventing the airplane.
Other people had glided and even flown with two fixed winged planes but it was the Wright brothers who first flew in a controlled, two fixed winged plane (they named their airplane Flyer 1).
Both brothers were trained in mechanics and owned a bicycle repair shop and later began to manufacture their own bicycles. Apparently, they were obsessed with discovering how to fly planes and devoted their free time to reading all available literature on the subject and building models of airplanes.
Convinced that an airplane could be flown in a controlled manner the two brothers plugged ahead and eventually succeeded.
In 1903 the two brothers managed to fly a controlled airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Subsequent to perfecting their flying, the brothers acquired a closer airport in their Dayton, Ohio home and in 1909 formed a company to fly people around and to move commercial cargo from one spot to another.
Upon the death of Wilbur, the more business oriented brother, Orville inherited the business but lacking in desire to run the Wright Company sold the business in 1915 to what is now Lockheed aircrafts.
Within a short numbers of years from 1903 when the Wright brothers flew in their Flyer 1 many governments and businesses recognized the utility of airplanes and money and research poured into improving the airplanes. Indeed, the airplane was even used by the nations at war during the First World War to drop bombs from the sky at each other. The plane quickly developed into what we now know it to be.
Clearly, the Wright brothers left a legacy for mankind that few have equaled. Airplanes have brought the world together. Whereas in the past it took months to travel between Europe and North America, now it takes less than six hours to do so in commercial jet planes (it is even shorter in supersonic planes).
The Wright brothers have brought the world together and made the planet a true global village. People now travel from one corner of the world to another, in the same day. The brothers made the exchange of ideas by people living far away from each other possible hence immensely contributed to cultural diffusion and civilization.
Fred Howard. Wilbur and Orville-A Biography of the Wright Brothers. (1998)