Orville Wright piloted the first flight which lasted 12 seconds. They made 3 more flights that day, and the longest was 59 seconds with Wilbur as pilot.
We considered our experiments a failure. At this time I made
the prediction that man would sometime fly, but that it wouldn't
be in our lifetime.
Wilbur Wright said that in 1901. In 1902, he stated,
Our new machine is a very great improvement over anything
we had built before... Everything is so much more satisfactory
that we now believe that the flying problem is
really nearing its solution.
And at the end of 1903, they did it!