Speed of First Flight

Updated March 1, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

How fast did the original Wright brothers' airplane fly?

The Answer:

The first successful flight orchestrated by the Wright brothers occurred on Dec. 17, 1903 near Kitty Hawk, N.C. The first of four attempts that day, Orville Wright piloted the plane for 12 seconds while his brother Wilbur ran alongside. The plane traveled 26 knots, or approximately 30 mph.

How far have we come since then? Today's 747s typically travel at a cruising speed of about 490 knots, or 564 mph.

-The Editors

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