Wright Again

Wright Again

The Height Of Big Hill - Friday, October 17, 1902

The History: In Orville's personal diary he recorded that they remeasured Big Hill. Today it is 100 feet 8 inches high. Orville noted that the recent storms had blown 5 to 6 feet of sand off of Big Hill, "but it is now higher than when we arrived".

[You may recall that the Wrights measured the height of Big Hill when they first arrived at Kill Devil Hills. The two main reasons the Outer Banks of North Carolina were chosen as the Wrights' flight testing site included strong winds and a lot of sand (for soft landings). However, as the winds blew the height of the sand on the hill changed.]

Calculating the Height of Big Hill On September 3, 1902

Dan Tate arrived at the camp and they carried the machine to some small hills south of Big Hill. The wind was 6 meters/second (about 13.5 miles/hour) at the top of the hill and about 3-4 meters/second (about 7-9 miles/hour) at the bottom of the hill. Orville operated the glider at angles from 6°20´ to 7°10´.

Wilbur made 5 or 6 flights in light winds that evening. Tate and Orville launched the glider while George Spratt took photographs.

That evening they went to the beach and picked up shells and starfish.

The nights had turned cold and they kept their gasoline stove on to keep them warmer.


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