Wright Again

Wright Again

Testing Chanute's Machines - Wednesday, July 9, 1902

The History: Wilbur writes to Octave Chanute who has just visited with the brothers in Dayton last week. Wilbur discusses:

  • the testing of Chanute's machines at Kitty Hawk;
  • the brothers' proposed plan for testing their 1902 glider;
  • tangents of gliding angles.

You may recall that in their correspondence of June 2, 1902, Wilbur suggested Chanute continue testing his own flying machines. In today's letter, Wilbur suggests Chanute use his own experts. Chanute's experts are already familiar with the operation of Chanute's machines. Wilbur believes this would help make Chanute's tests " as perfect as possible" and "reduce the time required to tune up the machines". Wilbur also tells Chanute that he is concerned other people might "raise a suspicion". Wilbur is concerned people may think the brothers had not acted fairly if they test Chanute's machines and the results do not come out well. Although Chanute and the Wright brothers are colleagues, they are also competitors. Wilbur tells Chanute he knows Chanute would not think that of the Wrights -- Chanute would believe that the Wrights had done the best job possible, but other people might not.

Wilbur proposes that the brothers set up the building, get their own machine ready and then get Chanute's machine ready for him and his expert.

Wilbur also writes Chanute to confirm that he asked Chanute for the tangent of the gliding angle not the sine. (The sine and tangent of an angle are mathematical (trigonometry) terms.)


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