March 23, 1903: The Wright brothers filed for “Flying Machine” patent
The long-missing patent paperwork filed by aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright on March 23,1903, included a diagram of their invention, their petition for patent approval, the patent registry form, and their patent oath, affirming that “they verily believe themselves to be the original, joint inventors” of the so-called “Flying Machine.”
The Wright brothers didn’t wait for the patent to be granted to take flight. On Dec. 17, 1903, the brothers lofted their flying machine into the air for 12 seconds, flying 120 feet at Kitty Hawk, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. And a little more than three years after filing, the Wright brothers were granted their patent: number 821,393, assigned on May 22, 1906.