Despite some factual and accurate stories, the Wrights' achievement was practically unknown for five years. Most people at that time remained doubtful about flying machines. In any case, the Wrights preferred to work quietly, perfecting their airplane and developing flight technique. Selfridge, died within three hours of a fractured skull. This accident was the most serious in the Wright brothers' career. Orville reappeared at Fort Myer the next year, fully recovered. He completed official tests with no evidence of nervousness. With Orville at the controls, the plane flew 120 feet (37 meters) and was in the air 12 seconds. The brothers made three more flights that day. The longest, by Wilbur, was 852 feet (260 meters) in 59 seconds. They designed and built their own lightweight gasoline engine for the airplane. The Wrights went to Kitty Hawk in September 1903, but a succession of bad storms and minor defects delayed their experiment at Kill Devil Hill until December 17. 19, 1871, in Dayton, Ohio. Their father was a bishop of the United Brethren Church. The boys went through high school, but neither received a diploma. Wilbur did not bother to go to the commencement exercises, and. 5, 1905, the machine flew 24.2 miles (38.9 kilometers) in 38 minutes 3 seconds. When the Wrights first offered their machine to the U.S. government, they were not taken seriously. But by 1908 they closed a contract with the U.S. He died on Jan. 30, 1948. Wilbur was elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in New York City in 1955, and Orville in 1965. Orville sent the original plane flown near Kitty Hawk to the Science Museum in London in 1928. The Wrights continued to fly from a pasture near their hometown of Dayton, Ohio, but local newspapers remained uninterested. The Wrights issued a statement about their achievement to the press in January 1904. In August 1909, the Wrights closed a contract with some wealthy men in Germany for the formation of a German-Wright Company. Later that year, they formed the Wright Company in New York City to manufacture airplanes. Wright brothers -Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville (1871-1948)-invented and built the first successful airplane. On Dec. 17, 1903, they made the world's first flight in a power-driven, heavier-than-air machine near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.