The Wright brothers had demonstrated that powered flight was
possible in their famous 1903 flight at Kitty Hawk, but there
was still a great need for pilots to have control over the
process. The pilot needed to be able to do more than just rise
from the ground, glide a distance and then land. The aircraft
had to lift, turn, and bank to allow flight to be truly
The Aerial Experiment
Association sought to solve this conundrum, especially when
the first aircraft built by the Association, the Red Wing, flew
and crashed on 12 March 1908 due to lack of pilot control.
The next aircraft built by the Association was the White
Wing, which included control flaps for the first time. These
flaps, eventually known as ailerons, proved effective in
improving stability in flight.
The Association was eventually able to develop a stick and
rudder pedal system, allowing the pilot better control of the
flight. The fourth and final model, the Silver Wing, made the
first powered, manned flight in the British Commonwealth.