Admittedly we prefer our Retrotechtacular videos to be campy, but sometimes the content is just so cool we have to give up that goal. So is the case with this series on the Wright Brothers’ first manned, powered flight.
Now there is some argument on who actually flew for the first time on earth. And that issue is touched upon right away by sharing the benchmarks used to substantiate the claim:
- The machine was heavier than air
- Carried a man
- Rose from the ground under its own power
- Flew under control without losing speed
- Landed safely at an altitude no lower than it took off
The two-part series clocks in at almost two hours. But the combination of images, video footage, and first-hand accounts makes for something incredibly interesting. The original flight happened 110 years ago this December. That doesn’t seem so long ago and it’s incredible to think that air-travel is now common in the developed world and we’re even seeing progress toward human powered flight that itself is doing the same kind of trailblazing the Wright Brothers did.
Retrotechtacular is a weekly column featuring hacks, technology, and kitsch from ages of yore. Help keep it fresh by sending in your ideas for future installments.