For centuries, man had dreamed of flying like birds. By the end of the 19th century, men could rise into the air using balloons, kites and gliders, but always needed wind to power them. So an engine was invented. But how could you make it powerful enough to lift its own weight and design an aircraft to carry it? Enter the Wright brothers. The invention of the airplane by brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright is one of the great stories in world history. They not only solved a problem people had been trying to solve for hundreds of years, by their sheer determination and skill they also helped create an entirely new world. Its difficult to imagine a world without flight, but man has only flown in planes for less than 125 years.