1978 Wright Brothers Issue
Issue Date: September 23, 1978
First City: Dayton, Ohio
Quantity Issued: unknown
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved (Giori)
Color: Ultramarine and multicolored
This attached pair was issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s historic first powered flight in 1903. These stamps are the first in a series of international airmail stamps that honors American aviation pioneers and significant aviation developments.
Orville and Wilbur Wright
Sons of a minister in the United Brethren Church, Orville and Wilbur Wright grew up to become aviation pioneers. The brothers had always been interested in science and technology, but when their father gave them a flying toy in 1878, they set their sights on developing a heavier-than-air flying machine capable of carrying a man.
Beginning in 1899, the Wright Brothers began experimenting with gliders. Within four years, they had built their first airplane. With a wingspan of 40 feet and a 12-horsepower engine that weighed 152 pounds, this plane was unlike anything seen before.
The first historic airplane flight took place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903. Orville flew for 12 seconds and traveled 120 feet. Later that day, Wilbur flew for 59 seconds and covered 852 feet. The Wright Brothers continued to improve their design, and in 1906 received a patent for the first airplane.