On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first powered, sustained and controlled airplane.
While flying machines had been dreamt up since da Vinci's time, the Wright Brothers became the biggest successes. Beginning with gliders, the duo laid the foundation for modern aeronautical engineering.
Additionally, new business boomed along with a number of people being trained to fly planes. The possibility to fly over thousands of miles in less time would not have been made possible if the aircraft were not invented.