Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Wright Brothers - Equatorial Guinea stamp MNH 1979 Aviation sheet
The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903. In the two years afterward, the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.
The Wright brothers were two of seven children born to Milton Wright (1828–1917) of English and Dutch descent and Susan Catherine Koerner (1831–1889) of German-Swiss descent. Wilbur was born near Millville, Indiana, in 1867; Orville in Dayton, Ohio, in 1871. The brothers never married (no interference – that must have been the secret of their successes in Aviation). The other Wright siblings were named Reuchlin (1861–1920), Lorin (1862–1939), Katharine (1874–1929), and twins Otis and Ida (born 1870, died in infancy). In elementary school, Orville was given to mischief and was once expelled. In 1878 their father, who traveled often as a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, brought home a toy "helicopter" for his two younger sons. The device was based on an invention of French aeronautical pioneer Alphonse Pénaud. Made of paper, bamboo and cork with a rubber band to twirl its rotor, it was about a foot long. Wilbur and Orville played with it until it broke, and then built their own. In later years, they pointed to their experience with the toy as the initial spark of their interest in flying.
This sheetlet of eight stamps was issued by the Republic of Equatorial Giinea on 1st May, 1979. The top four stamps feature Orville Wright, and the lower four show Wilbur Wright. These stamps were issued to commemorate Aviation.