It was 116 years ago, that this happened. The Wright brothers made four flights in North Carolina on Dec. 17, 1903, the first by Orville of 120 feet in 12 seconds at a speed of 6.8 mph, recorded here in this famous photograph by John T. Daniels.
Orville Wright at the controls of the machine, lying prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright running alongside to balance the machine, has just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing. The starting rail, the wing-rest, a coil box, and other items needed for flight preparation are visible behind the machine.
One of the greatest photos of all time, and certainly one of the greatest automation invention moments ever.