The 1900s

Aircraft Program Evolution

  • 1903 - Orville and Wilbur Wright make first successful flight.
  • 1908 - Alfred Wilm patents Duralumin, an aluminum alloy that sets the stage for aluminum’s critical role in the first century of flight.


Alcoa Aerospace Technology Evolution

  • 1903 - Wright Brothers’ plane features crankcase cast from aluminum produced by the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, which became Alcoa in 1907.
  • 1908 - Wilm’s discovery sparks Alcoa’s aluminum metallurgy research and spawns Alcoa’s invention of nearly all aerospace alloys developed in the 20th century.
Wright Brothers' Plane

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Wright Brothers’ plane features crankcase cast from the Pittsburgh Reduction Company's aluminum.

Wright Brothers' Plane




Alcoa and the history of flight: Interactive exhibit
Learn more about our key role in the major aerospace innovations of the last hundred years -- and our vision for the future. (Macromedia Flash required)
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