On the 17th in 1903, the Wright Brothers, Wilbur and Orville, were finally successful in their quest to build a heavier-than-air flying machine. The fourth flight of the day, with Wilbur at the controls, lasted 59 seconds. On April 19, 1944, Orville went on his last airplane flight, as a guest of Howard Hughes, who was at the controls of a Lockheed Constellation. Orville was quick to point out that the wingspan of the Constellation was longer than the first airplane flight.
In his 1905 book, Gleanings in Bee Culture, Amos Root was for some inexplicable reason moved to write, “While up in the air there is but very little to injure or to put any great strain on any part of the machinery. If you run into a tree or a house, of course, there would be a smash-up. No drinking man should ever be allowed to undertake to run a flying-machine."