Pre 1925

Before 1904 and Louis Cartier there were only pocket watches to use in aviation. With the invention of the Cartier Santos the age of aviation wristwatches had begun. It was not until 1911 that Cartier offered any Santos watches to general customers.

Many people believe that planes did not exist before the Wright brothers took to the air south of Kitty Hawk in 1903. However, many aviators flew balloons, gliders and dirigibles before the Wright brothers.

There were also several attempts at powered flight before the Wright Brothers.

In 1874 Felix du Temple is credited with the first powered take-off in history with a steam-powered aeroplane. It is not accepted as a flight as it was done from a ramp (gravity assisted) and was not sustained.

In 1884 Alexander Mozhaysky achieved a flight of 30 m also using only a ramp for momentum.

Clement Ader flew 50 meters in 1890 in a steam powered monoplane with a screw propeller. This is not regarded by historians as a true flight as it was uncontrolled and not sustained.

In 1895 a claim was made by Shivkar Bapuji Talpade of climbing to 1500 feet in an aircraft called Marutsakhā (friend of the sky). There are no supporting documents, nor photographs to substantiate this claim.

In 1896 Sammuel Pierpont Langley, secretary of the Smithsonian successfully flew several UN-piloted model craft. His number 6 model flew ~1500m (~5000 feet).

Then in December 17, 1903 the Wright brothers flew for 120 feet, 175 feet and again for 200 feet and finally for 852 feet. Thus establishing their claim to the first powered flight in the Wright Flyer.

The world never looked back.

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