1903 in aviation
This is a list of aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

-related events from 1903:


  • 1 January – Konstantin Tsiolkovski deduces the Basic Rocket Equation in his article Explorations of outer space with the help of reaction apparatuses.


  • 12 February - The worlds first successful heavier-than-air aircraft engine, which will power the Wright brothers
    Wright brothers
    The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

    first airplane in December 1903, runs for the first time in Dayton
    Dayton, Ohio
    Dayton is the 6th largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, the fifth most populous county in the state. The population was 141,527 at the 2010 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 841,502 in the 2010 census...

    , Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

  • 16 February – Traian Vuia
    Traian Vuia
    Traian Vuia was a Romanian inventor and aviation pioneer who designed, builtand flew an early aircraft. His first flight traveled about 12 m at Montesson, France on March 18, 1906...

     presents to the Académie des Sciences of Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

     the possibility of flying with a heavier-than-air mechanical machine and his procedure for taking off, but is rejected for being an utopia, adding the comments: The problem of flight with a machine which weighs more than air can not be solved and it is only a dream.


  • 23 March – The Wright brothers
    Wright brothers
    The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

     file an application for a patent
    A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

     for an airplane based on the design of their Glider No. 3
    Wright Glider
    The Wright brothers designed, built and flew a series of three manned gliders in 1900-1902 as they worked towards achieving powered flight. They also made preliminary tests with a kite in 1899. In 1911 Orville conducted tests with a much more sophisticated glider...

  • 31 March – Richard Pearse
    Richard Pearse
    Richard William Pearse , son of Cornish immigrants from St Columb near Newquay, a New Zealand farmer and inventor who performed pioneering experiments in aviation....

     is reputed to have made a powered flight in a heavier-than-air craft, a monoplane of his own construction, that crash lands on a hedge. This date is computed from evidence of eyewitnesses as the flight was not well documented at the time. The flight is claimed to have been around 150 feet (45 m) on his farm at Upper Waitohi, near Timaru
    TimaruUrban AreaPopulation:27,200Extent:Former Timaru City CouncilTerritorial AuthorityName:Timaru District CouncilPopulation:42,867 Land area:2,736.54 km² Mayor:Janie AnnearWebsite:...

     in south Canterbury
    Canterbury, New Zealand
    The New Zealand region of Canterbury is mainly composed of the Canterbury Plains and the surrounding mountains. Its main city, Christchurch, hosts the main office of the Christchurch City Council, the Canterbury Regional Council - called Environment Canterbury - and the University of Canterbury.-...

    , New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...



  • 11 May – Richard Pearse is claimed to have made a flight of around 1,000 yards (900 m), landing in the semi-dry bed of the Opihi River
    Opihi River
    The Opihi River flows through south Canterbury, in New Zealand's South Island.It flows southeast for 75 kilometres, reaching the Pacific Ocean 10 kilometres north of Timaru...



  • 18 August – Karl Jatho
    Karl Jatho
    Karl Jatho was a German pioneer and inventor, performer and public servant of the city of Hanover.On August 18, 1903 he flew with his self-made motored gliding airplane 4 months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers. He made his first attempts with a plane with three lifting surfaces, but...

     makes a flight with his motored aircraft in front of four people. http://www.flyingmachines.org/jatho.html. His craft flies up to 200 feet (60 m) a few feet above the ground in a powered heavier-than-air craft.


  • 7 October – Samuel Langley conducts the first tests of his full-sized man-carrying version of his earlier model aerodromes
    Langley Aerodrome
    The Langley Aerodrome was a pioneering but unsuccessful manned, powered flying machine designed at the close of the 19th century by Smithsonian Institution Secretary Samuel Langley. The U.S...

    . The pilot, Charles Manly, nearly drowns when the machine slides off its launch apparatus atop a houseboat and falls into the Potomac River.


  • 12 November – The Lebaudy brothers make a controlled dirigible flight of 54 km (33.6 mi) from Moisson
    Moisson is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France.-History:On 12 November, 1903, the Lebaudy brothers made a controlled dirigible flight of from Moisson to Paris....

     to Paris, France.
  • 19 November – Léon Y. K. Levavasseur demonstrates his Antoinette engine, designed as a lightweight powerplant specifically for aircraft.


  • 8 December – second attempt by Charles Manly to fly Langley's repaired full-sized aerodrome. As with the October 7 attempt the machine failed to fly tripping on its launch gear and somersaulting into the Potomac River
    Potomac River
    The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

     nearly killing Manly. A surviving photograph captures the machine upended on its side as it falls off the houseboat. Langley himself was absent at this attempt but the machine's failure to fly ended his government
    Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

     (i.e. U.S. Army) funded attempts at building a successful full sized man-carrying flying machine.

  • 17 December – The Wright Brothers
    Wright brothers
    The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

     make four flights in their Flyer
    Wright Flyer
    The Wright Flyer was the first powered aircraft, designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903 near the Kill Devil Hills, about four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S.The U.S...

     at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
    Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
    Kitty Hawk is a town in Dare County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 3,000 at the 2000 census. It was established in the early 18th century as Chickahawk....

     following years of research and development. Orville Wright takes off first and flies 120 ft (37 m) in 12 seconds. This is frequently considered the first controlled, powered heavier-than-air flight and is the first such flight photographed. On the fourth effort, Wilbur flies 852 ft (260 m) in 59 seconds.
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