Plans For The Flyer - Thursday, December 11, 1902
The History: Wilbur responded to Octave Chanute's letters of December 6th and 9th. He recommends not including the glides of October 9th in the averages of the October 8th glides. This will ensure the results reflect similar conditions on the same day.
Wilbur thanked Chanute for his advice and the copy of Mouillard's patent. He tells Chanute that he and Orville are preparing the documentation for their patents and hopefully will file them soon.
A visit with Professor Langley in Washington, D. C. or meeting with Hiram Maxim is very unlikely. Wilbur tells Chanute, "We have a number of matters demanding our attention just now" and explains the brothers will not be traveling very far from their home in Dayton, Ohio for awhile.
Langley has sent a pamphlet from the Smithsonian called The Greatest Flying Creature to the Wrights. Wilbur jokes with Chanute that he has noticed Maxim's and Lilienthal's machine were included in this article. [These machines were not included in the article. Wilbur felt these machines should have been included.]
Replying to Chanute's question "How far do you think of carrying on aeronautical work?" Wilbur writes, "It is our intention next year to build a machine much larger and about twice as heavy as our present machine. With it we will work out problems relating to starting and handling heavy weight machines, and if we find it under satisfactory control in flight, we will proceed to mount a motor."
Wilbur has commented to Chanute that "a number of matters demand our attention". Aside from the bicycle shop business, they were assisting their father in a serious church investigation, making inquiries into engines suitable for their flying machine and preparing to conduct propeller experiments which will begin on December 15th. Clearly, the Wrights were busy men who understood their priorities and focused on what was important in their business, family and own experimentation.
Their gliders have been successful. They have developed a sound control system to turn and maneuver their machines. Based on their 1901 wind tunnel experiments they know how to generate enough lift on their wings. What is their next step? Wilbur has outlined to Chanute their plans for the Wright Flyer. The new machine will support a heavier load including the 200-pound engine they are seeking and propellers to generate thrust.
Quotation from the book The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright, Volume 1 by M. McFarland.