The first flight…was steam powered! – “When the Wright brothers telegraphed home after Kitty Hawk, the only bit of their telegram which was commented on by the local press was “Wright brothers home for Christmas”. Why wouldn’t the press be carrying “Wright brothers first to fly” banners if they had just made history? The answer is that they hadn’t. Everyone knew that powered flight had already been achieved, so the important portion of the communique was that they would be home for Christmas.
The first person to fly a powered, heavier than air vehicle (aeroplane) was Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, (who is more famous for his machine gun). On Tuesday 31st July 1894 at Baldwyn’s Park (formerly the site of a mental hospital, now a housing estate) in the London Borough of Bexley, his flyer was launched for the first time and successfully flew. “ [via] – Link.