Controlled Powered Flight
Original Painting by Keith Ferris
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28” x 42”
Oil on Canvas
The painting shows the fifth and final flight of the Wright Flyer on the sands below Kill Devil Hill on December 17, 1903. This 59 second flight into an 18 Knot headwind, covering 852 feet, is arguably the first real controlled powered flight by the Wright Brothers on this day. The first three flights were of 15 seconds or less and the longest was about 200 feet. The brothers alternated flying and Wilber Wright’s 59 second flight was actually the only one in which they were able to stabilize and completely control the aircraft.
The scene is viewed from a position to the left of the line of flight about 40 feet in front of the Wright Flyer at about the 500 foot mark of the flight. The Wright’s hangar and shop buildings are seen with the 105 foot high Kill Devil Hill in the distance.*