It was the realization of a dream as old as mankind. On December 17, 1903, two bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio, achieved the first sustained, powered, heavier-than-air flight in a machine of their own design and construction. This book offers a concise and fascinating history of that remarkable accomplishment, much of it in the words of the inventors themselves. The heart of the book is Orville Wright's personal account, written in connection with an obscure lawsuit filed against the U.S. government. Long forgotten until a typewritten copy was discovered among the Wright papers at the Library of Congress, it is the best, most detailed account of how the Wright brothers succeeded in creating the machine that lifted man into the sky on wings.