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

Click image to enlarge.

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)