During the 1500s, Leonardo da Vinci filled pages of his notebooks with sketches of proposed flying machines, but most of his ideas were flawed because he clung to the idea of birdlike wings. By 1655, mathematician, physicist, and inventor Robert Hooke concluded the human body does not possess the strength to power artificial wings. He believed human flight would require some form of artificial propulsion.
In 1783, the first manned hot air balloon, crafted by Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier, flew for 23 minutes. Ten days later, Professor Jacques Charles flew the first gas balloon.
The Flyer, combined inspired design and engineering with superior craftsmanship. By the afternoon of December 17th, the Wright brothers had flown a total of 98 seconds on four flights. The age of flight had arrived.