Catapulting of the Langley aerodrome from a specially constructed houseboat on the Potomac River near Quantico, Virginia, October 7, 1903.
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This image shows the   the aerodrome landing in the water.

Credit: Image courtesy of NASA

On October 7, 1903, Samuel Langley launched his piloted aeroplane for the first time, and it immediately plunged into the Potomac River. Langley tried again on December 8, and again the aircraft crashed into the river. Just nine days later, on December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright took to the sky above the sands of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the first successful manned flight.

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