Today is Pan American Aviation Day, a celebration for the first flight of the Wright Flyer, which took place on December 17, 1903. The culmination of nearly five years of research and experimentation by Wilbur and Orville Wright, the Wright Flyer was the first piloted airplane to achieve controlled, sustained flight from its own power, although a catapult was required to launch it into the air. Control was achieved through the use of wing warping for roll, a rudder for yaw, and a forward positioned elevator for pitch. The first successful flight took place on the Outer Banks of Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with Orville at the controls and Wilbur next to the wing. This commemoration encourages citizens from North, Central, and South America to increase their interest in aviation. What is your favorite aviation memory? Image: Wilbur Wright at controls of Wright Brothers Flyer, c. 1908. SFO Museum Collection. 2001.006.069 This image was posted on December 17, 2020.