The Wright Brothers and Their Claims. The Timeline of a Fraud.
 

The Wright Brothers and Their Claims

An interesting collection of old articles about the 1903 - 1905 "flights" of the Wright brothers.

 

The Wright brothers contributed nothing to the progress of powered flight before Aug. 8, 1908. Starting with Dec. 17 1903, they constantly made ridiculous claims about spectacular flights, allegedly performed in the interval 1903 - 1905, refusing, at the same time, to publish pictures or technical drawings of their powered machines, a main pretext being that they wanted to sell them. Aviation appeared in 1906 without the help of the two brothers from Dayton.

 

 

 

FREE BOOK

 

Amos Root the Liar Number Four after the Wright Brothers and Their Mentor, Octave Chanute

 

A. I. Root was a businessman from Medina, Ohio who had a passion for heavier than air flying machines. In February 1904 he sent a letter to the Wright brothers saying that he wanted to see some of their trials. He met the two inventors during the summer of 1904 and in the January 1, 1905, issue of his periodical "Gleanings in Bee Culture" he claimed he had seen Wilbur Wright flying his plane in a circuit on September 20, 1904. However, his numerous letters to the Wrights, and other articles he wrote in connection to them, show that Amos Root did not see that spectacular flight. He just lied with the consent of the two brothers, who approved his January 1, 1905, article, before being printed, and latter used Root's text as evidence in an attempt to convince the people that they were the firsts who flew planes.

 

FREE BOOK

 

The Wrights and Their Impossible 1904 Flights

 

The purpose of this work is to demonstrate, based on primary sources, that no Wright plane flew in 1904 and the two brothers just dishonestly pretended, multiple times, they had flown a heavier-than-air machine. The evidence taken into account consists of:

- The 1904 correspondence between Wilbur and Octave Chanute.

- Wilbur’s and Orville’s notebooks E and G, respectively, containing flight data.

- The 1904 newspaper articles that mention flights performed by the brothers in 1904 or offer information about their aeronautical activity.

- The Aug. 24, 1904 - Nov. 17, 1905, correspondence between the two inventors and Carl Dienstbach, the New York correspondent of the German journal “Illustrierte Aëronautische Mitteilungen”.

- The 1904-1906 negotiations between the brothers and: (1) the US War Department; (2) the British War Office.

- Various other documents.

 

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The Wright brothers’ patents and their low importance for aviation

 

The two inventors from Dayton have 5 patents out which only the US patent no. 821,393, granted on May 22, 1906 (and its foreign versions) is of a certain importance claiming:

 

(1) the method of wing warping, in particular, and the ailerons, in general, for stabilizing an aeroplane type machine in roll,

(2) a movable vertical tail aimed at counteracting the adverse yaw

generated by twisting the main wings,

(3) a flexible front elevator for

maintaining the pitch stability of the same machine,

(4) various constructive details.

 

The patent is not about steering a flying machine, it only contains drawings and technical explanations regarding a biplane glider and only briefly mentions that the invention can also be used for powered planes, without elaborating.

 

PRESENTATION

 

The Wright Brothers and Their 1903-1905 HOAX

 

The video presentation reveals in chronological order what the Wright brothers published of showed between 1901 and August 1908.

 

Their only contribution to aviation, before August 8, 1908, when Wilbur flew in Le Mans, France, remains a series of biplane gliders tested at Kitty-Hawk, North Carolina, USA, between 1900 and 1903.

 

The 2003 flying replica of Flyer I 1903 couldn't fly more than 115 feet (35 m)

 

What is claimed to be the accurate replica (tested in 2003), of the Wright brothers' 1903 plane, was not able to do more than short hops. None of its takeoffs came close to the claimed 59 seconds flight performed on December 17, 1903. What the 2003 experiment really showed was that the 1903 machine could have been theoretically able to lift off the ground and fly chaotically for 100 - 115 feet. Flyer I was uncontrollable and not capable to execute a sustained flight. The tests performed in  2003 demonstrate that the Wright brothers had exaggerated, to say the least, the length and duration of their claimed 1903, 59- second flight.

 

 

Left) "On November 20, 2003, Dr. Kevin Kochersberger piloted the 1903 Wright Experience Replica Flyer. With 15-18 mph winds he flew a distance of nearly 100 feet."

 

Right) "December 3, 2003 test flight of the Wright Experience 1903 Wright Flyer Replica. Dr. Kevin Kochersberger was at the controls and piloted the Flyer for a distance of 115 feet. Slight cross wind after initial rotation which is compensated with slight wing warp."

 

The instability of Flyer I had been already predicted by prof. Fred Culick who tested in the wind tunnel another replica, different from the one that flew in 2003:

 

" "They built it and then drew as they went along," said Fred Culick, professor of aerodynamics at the California Institute of Technology and chief engineer on Cherne's team. …" Cherne's group, working mainly on weekends in a warehouse donated by a rocket company in El Segundo, finished what they considered an exact replica. Then in 1998 they tested it at NASA's Ames Research Center near Sunnyvale, Calif. Three weeks of wind-tunnel tests of their Wright Flyer replica "clearly showed how unstable it was and how it can't be flown safely," said Culick. "

 

Source: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20031008&slug=wright08

 

"They carried the machine up on the Hill", John T. Daniels, eye witness

 

A dubious eyewitness account comes from John T. Daniels, a member of the Kitty Hawk Life-Saving Station in North Carolina. In a 1933 letter addressed to an unnamed friend of him, this man claimed he had seen two flights:

 

"Manteo NC, June 30 —- 1933,

Dear friend,

I Don’t know very much to write about the flight. I was there, and it was on Dec the 17, — 1903 about 10 o’clock. They carried the machine up on the Hill and Put her on the track, and started the engine … and he went about 100 feet or more, and then Mr. Wilbur taken the machine up on the Hill and Put her on the track and he went off across the Beach about a half a mile …

 

Sincerely,

John T. Daniels, Manteo NC, Box 1W"

 

Source: http://wrightstories.com/eyewitness-account-of-first-flight-by-john-daniels

 

Daniels twice wrote he had witnessed the machine being carried up the hill before each of the two trials he remembered. This information corroborates well with a picture, allegedly taken on December 17, 1903, but first published in September 1908:

 

The first flight on December 17, 1903, (detail). Flyer I taking off and just about to go down along a slope.

Also, it should be noted that the article "The flying machine of the Wright brothers" published in L'Aérophile, Jan. 1904, pag. 16-18 has a comment close to its end reading: "Mr. Orville Wright does not tell us the difference in height between the departure and the landing point."

The letter of John T. Daniels and the two pictures (1) and (2), allegedly made on Dec. 17, 1903, come to confirm what L'Aérophile had already suspected in Jan. 1904. The plane landed many meters below the takeoff altitude which disqualifies the flights of that day as true powered flights.

"we do not feel ready at present to give out any pictures or detailed description of the machine", the Wright brothers, January 6, 1904

 

Neither the claimed Dec. 17, 1903, picture, nor the statements of John T. Daniels, in his June 30, 1933, letter match the Wright's own January 6, 1904, press release in which they said: "The starts were all made from a point on the level sand". The two aeroplanes mentioned nothing about any hill and ended their statement by saying that they did not feel ready "to give out any pictures or detailed description of the machine".

 

“Wright Flyer. A Report of Late Tests Is Given by Messrs. Wright, Inventors of the Machine.”, Dayton Press, Ohio, US, January 6, 1904.

"Wright Flyer

 

A Report Of Late Tests Is Given by Messrs. Wright, Inventors of the Machine.

 

Interesting Description of the Trials Made at Kitty Hawk.

 

It had not been our intention to make any detailed public statement concerning the private trails of our power “Flyer” on the 17th of December last; but since the contents of a private telegram, announcing to our folks at home the success of our trials, was dishonestly communicated to newspaper men at the Norfolk office, and led to the imposition upon the public by persons who never saw the “Flyer” or its flights, of a fictitious story incorrect in almost every detail; and since this story, together with several pretended interviews or statements, which were fakes pure and simple, have been very widely disseminated, we feel impelled to make some corrections. The real facts were as follows:

 

On the morning of December 17, between the hours of 10:30 o’clock and noon, four flights were made, two by Orville Wright and two by Wilbur Wright. The starts were all made from a point on the level sand about 200 feet west of our camp, which is located a quarter of a mile north of the Kill Devil sand hill, in Dare county, North Carolina. The wind at the time of the flights had a velocity of 27 miles an hour at 10 o’clock, and 24 miles an hour at noon, as recorded by the anemometer at the Kitty Hawk weather bureau station. This anemometer is 30 feet from the ground. Our own measurements, made with a hand anemometer at a height of four feet from the ground, showed a velocity of about 22 miles when the first flight was made, and 20½ miles at the time of the last one. The flights were directly against the wind. Each time the machine started from the level ground by its own power alone with no assistance from gravity, or any other sources whatever. After a run of about 40 feet along a mono-rail track, which held the machine eight inches from the ground, it rose from the track and under the direction of the operator climbed upward on an inclined course till a height of eight or ten feet from the ground was reached, after which the course was kept as near horizontal as the wind gusts and the limited skill of the operator would permit. Into the teeth of a December gale the “Flyer” made its way forward with a speed of ten miles an hour over the ground and 30 to 35 miles an hour through the air. It had previously been decided that for reasons of personal safety these first trials should be made as close to the ground as possible. The height chosen was scarcely sufficient for maneuvering in so gusty a wind and with no previous acquaintance with the conduct of the machine and its controlling mechanisms. Consequently the first flight was short. The succeeding flights rapidly increased in length and at the fourth trial a flight of 59 seconds was made, in which time the machine flew a little more than a half mile through the air, and a distance of 852 feet over the ground. The landing was due to a slight error of judgment on the part of the operator. After passing over a little hummock of sand, in attempting to bring the machine down to the desired height, the operator turned the rudder too far, and the machine turned downward more quickly than had been expected. The reverse movement of the rudder was a fraction of a second too late to prevent the machine from touching the ground and thus ending the flight. The whole occurrence occupied little, if any more, than one second of time. Only those who are acquainted with practical aeronautics can appreciate the difficulties of attempting the first trials of a flying machine in a 25 mile gale.

 

As winter was already well set in, we should have postponed our trails to a more favorable season, but for the fact that we were determined, before returning home, to know whether the machine possessed sufficient power to fly, sufficient strength to withstand the shock of landings, and sufficient capacity of control to make flight safe in boisterous winds, as well as in calm air. When these points had been definitely established, we at once packed our goods and returned home, knowing that the age of the flying machine had come at last.

 

From the beginning we have employed entirely new principles of control; and as all the experiments have been conducted at our own expense, without assistance from any individual or institution, we do not feel ready at present to give out any pictures or detailed description of the machine."

 

As of May 1904, the 1903 plane was still unfinished, according to a man that worked for the Wrights at Kitty Hawk

 

Elizabeth City Economist: A gentleman visiting this city whose home is in Kitty Hawk, is responsible for the assertion that the Wright brothers, of airship fame, will return to Kitty Hawk in the near future and resume work on their aerial monster. According to this gentleman the airship has never been removed from Kitty Hawk and nearly all the interviews published in the papers of Norfolk have been erroneous in this respect. This gentleman has assisted the Wrights in all their work and has a general supervision of their property during their absence. He says that they have not completed the ship and that they will return some time within the next month and resume their work. A story is current that they will complete the ship and make the trip from here to St. Louis sometime this fall.” (“Elizabeth City Economist: A gentleman visiting this city”, The Wilmington Messenger, Wilmington, North Carolina, May 26, 1904, col. 1, p. 6)

 

It is self evident that Wilbur and Orville could not have performed the four flights of December 17, 1903, with an unfinished plane and in conclusions their official press release of January 6, 1904, was a lie. In reality Flyer I never left the ground in 1903.

 

"the brothers only “glided” off Kill Devil Hill that day. Their first real flight came on May 6, 1908", Alpheus W. Drinkwater, telegraph operator

 

"Wilbur and Orville Wright are credited with making their first powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine on Dec. 17, 1903. But Alpheus W. Drinkwater, 76 years old, who sent the telegraph message ushering in the air age, said the brothers only “glided” off Kill Devil Hill that day. Their first real flight came on May 6, 1908, he said." Source: New York Times, Dec. 17, 1951.

 

The declaration of Alpheus W. Drinkwater corroborates well the May 26, 1904, article in the Wilmington Messenger and also the existence in September 1908 of an image showing a Wright powered machine just taking off. This picture claimed by the Wright brothers as being made on December 17, 1903 was in fact taken in May 1908. (As an explanation, according to the Wrights themselves, they left their sandy testing grounds in North Carolina just after flying on December 17 , 1903, and only came back in April 1908 for trying a new plane.)

 

The Wright brothers bought French engines Bariquand & Marre to power the planes they finally flew in front of credible witnesses starting with Aug. 8, 1908

 

The articles, "Aviation in US. Seven French engines for the Wright brothers, L'Aérophile, Apr. 1, 1908, pag. 127" which says that the French company "Barriquaud-Mare" had just delivered seven 40 HP Antoinette like plane engines to the Wright brothers and "Progress of the Wright airplane experiments", Scientific American, May 23, 1908, that also talks about French engines, demonstrate, both of them, that the brothers needed in May 1908 far more powerful motors for far less spectacular flights than the ones allegedly performed in 1905. Also, on Aug. 8, 1908, the Wright brothers using the same French engines flew only 1 min and 45 sec in Le Mans, far from 38 minutes in Dayton in 1905 when a considerable weaker engine was used. These brothers have simply no credibility and only their officially witness flights can be trusted. The rest is their own fiction.

Wing Warping was not invented by the Wright brothers

 

Tom Crouch: "wing torsion … was first applied in practice by Edson F. Gallaudet in his 1897 craft, tested on Long Island Sound and now on public display at the NASM." (Source: http://www.flightjournal.com/blog/2013/03/27/dr-crouch-responds-to-john-brown/)

 

Wikipedia seems to support Crouch: "Edson Fessenden Gallaudet (April 21, 1871 – July 1, 1945) was a pioneer in the field of aviation, being the first person to experiment with warped wings in 1896." (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edson_Fessenden_Gallaudet)

 

Wing-warping as a roll control method was used by Edson Gallaudet in 1898, according to http://www.flyingmachines.org/gallau.html . The Wright brothers simply obtained on May 22, 1906 a patent for something already tested in 1898 by somebody else.

 

How could an unqualified man have designed and built an engine in 6 weeks?!

 

About the engine that powered Flyer I 1903 various authors wrote that:

 

"The Wrights wrote to several engine manufacturers, but none met their need for a sufficiently lightweight power-plant. They turned to their shop mechanic, Charlie Taylor, who built an engine in just six weeks in close consultation with the brothers."

 

The article about Taylor ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Taylor_%28mechanic%29 ) also does not bring more light saying just that Taylor was a mechanic hired by Wright Brothers to repair bicycles and "He designed and built the aluminum water-cooled engine in only six weeks, based partly on rough sketches provided by the Wrights."

 

It is not uncommon for a mechanic to adapt a ready made engine to a specific purpose, but to design it from scratch and build it in 6 weeks is simply incredible.

 

Pictures from May 1908, The Wrights brothers' plane caught flying low in front of a tall sand dune

 

The images can be found here, (L'Aerophile, 1 July 1908 http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6550620m/f260.image.r=wright.langEN ). They still glided down the slope. How can I believe that the two brothers were able to fly about 40 minutes in 1905 in Dayton, Ohio over a flat pasture if they still needed a hill and strong winds to fly in May 1908.

In a letter published in L'Aerophile, in which the two brothers gave technical details about all their claimed flights in May 1908, they also specified the wind speed as being between 4 and 9 m/s. (see L'Aerophile 15 June 1908, http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6550620m/f232.image.r=wright%20mai.langEN ).

 

The Wright brothers had no contribution in correcting Smeaton's coefficient as some authors claim

 

Definitely, Wilbur Wright knew about the work of Samuel Langley regarding the determination of Smeaton's coefficient precise value. This is what Wilbur wrote to Octave Chanute:

"…Professor Langley and also the Weather Bureau officials found that the correct coefficient of pressure was only about 0.0032, instead of Smeaton’s 0.005…". Source, The birth of flight control, An engineering analysis of the Wright brothers’ 1902 glider - pag 703, middle of the first column, http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/eweb/fst/publications/2854.pdf

It is self evident the Wright brothers took the true value of Smeaton's coefficient from Langley and they had no real contribution in correcting this constant as some authors have claimed.

 

In May 1904, the Wright brothers just glided in front of journalists according to their own September 1908 account

 

This is what the Wright brothers themselves declared in 1908 about their witnessed flight attempts in 1904:

 

"In the spring of 1904 … the new machine was heavier and stronger … When it was ready for its first trial, every newspaper in Dayton was notified, and about a dozen representatives of the press were present. … When preparations had been completed … The machine, after running the length of the track, slid off the end without rising into the air at all. Several of the newspaper men returned the next day, but they were again disappointed. The engine performed badly, and after a glide of only sixty feet, the machine came to the ground. The reporters had now, no doubt, lost confidence in the machine, though their reports, in kindness, concealed it. Later, when they heard that we were making flights of several minutes' duration, knowing that longer flights had been made with air-ships, … they were but little interested." ("The Wright Brothers' Aeroplane", The Century Magazine, Sep. 1908, col. 3 - 4, p. 649)

 

Flyer I 1903 had a propeller placed underneath that revolved horizontally, according to an article signed Wilbur Wright and published in Feb. 1904

 

"One of the propellers was set to revolve vertically and intended to give a forward motion, while the other underneath the machine and revolving horizontally, was to assist in sustaining it in the air. … After the motor device was completed, two flights were made by my brother and two by myself on December 17th last." (Wilbur Wright, "The Experiments of a Flying Man", The Independent, Feb. 04, 1904, p. 246)

 

Definitely, the flying machine W. Wright talked about in the article is not the one with two pusher propellers, well known from pictures published for the first time in September 1908 in "The Wright Brothers' Aeroplane", The Century Magazine, p. 644.

 

In conclusion, two different articles, written by the same Wright brothers and published more than four years and  a half apart, talk about two distinct airplanes (two different Flyer I). The brothers definitely lied in one of the two texts. There is no way they could have told the truth in both articles.

 

Also W. Wright protested, claiming the article "The Experiments of a Flying Man" was not written by him, it is worth mentioning that the Library of Congress does not list the article as a fake.

 

Flyer I with a propeller beneath appears in numerous publications as late as May 1906, and even latter, (see: http://www.loc.gov/resource/mwright.05001/#seq-58 ). The Wrights did not seem to protest against the fact their airplane was being shown in various pictures with a propeller turning in the horizontal plane. The big trouble with these Wright brothers is that nearly each article, either written by them or other people (impostors or not), has problems, contains things impossible or hard to explain. Wilbur and Orville and also O. Chanute, their mentor, but in a lesser proportion, fed the publications with lies or misled them and finally put the blame on somebody else.

 

Another inconsistency, an eye witness talks about flapping propellers. There is an extensive article ("Fly Over St. Louis at 50 Miles an Hour.", Sunday Magazine - St. Louis Post Dispatch - April 21 1907), containing (amongst other things) a short witness account:

 

"Like a locomotive

By A. I. Root, Medina, O., Who Witness Several of Wright Brothers' Flights.

It was one of the grandest sights of my life. I stood in front of the machine as it came around a curve. Imagine, if you can, an aluminum locomotive, without wheels, but with 20-foot wings and big, flapping propellers, climbing up into the air right towards you. Such a tremendous flapping and snapping. Everyone was excited except the two Wrights. …".

 

First of all, none of the known airplanes made by the Wrights resembles an aluminum locomotive and secondly they were not equipped with flapping propellers. A. I. Root (a real person) appear cited as witnessing a flying machine that has never existed. The entire article looks more like an investment scam. Most of the newspaper clippings ( see http://www.loc.gov/item/wright002799/ ) collected by the Wright Brothers, especially those between Dec. 17, 1903 and Aug. 8, 1908, look like unreliable articles one can find in tabloids.

 

The much celebrated 66% efficiency of the 1903 propellers not confirmed by wind tunnel tests

 

In a March 6, 1903 note, with calculations regarding the efficiency of their propellers, (see http://www.localhangar.com/cgi-bin/clubs/pictures_pages.pl?POP=yes&CLUBNO=6&reason=show_page&PAGEID=116) the Wright brothers simply applied a known elementary relation:

 

Efficiency_propeller=Thrust*Plane_speed/Power_available, 66%=90lbf*24mph/8.73HP

 

They simply needed a 90lbf propeller at 24mph considering a 8.73HP engine was available and they calculated that their propeller should be at least 66% efficient otherwise the required 90lbf thrust to keep the plane aloft would not have been reached. Their calculations show just how great the performance of the propeller should have been not how great it really was.

 

This efficiency was never obtained by the people from Wright Experience project. The site http://archive.today/0pne0 says that many tests were effectuated and efficiencies between 75% and 82% were obtained which in not 66%. They also say they reconstructed, with the help of computers, the propellers using badly damaged parts of the original ones. However, in their reconstructions, they made some assumptions that could have alter the efficiency. In conclusion that 66% efficiency is not confirmed. When a team wants to replicate the results or predictions of some inventors the team has to obtain exactly the same results not much better!

 

In the article "The Wright Brothers' Aeroplane, O. and W. Wright, The Century Magazine, September 1908, pag. 648-649, http://www.loc.gov/resource/mwright.05001574/#seq-5 ", WB themselves wrote:

"Our first propellers, built entirely from calculations, gave in useful work 66 per cent. of the power expended. This was about one third more than had been secured by Maxim or Langley."

 

The text is clear, the two brothers calculated and then obtained a 66% efficiency.

 

An advanced high efficiency propeller, made by Lucien Chauviere, can be seen in L'Aerophile for May 15, 1908, pag. 182 (see http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6550620m/f192.image.r=helice.langEN ). It is above the propellers presented by WB on Aug. 8, 1908 and clearly made before WB's propellers became known. Definitely, Europeans or other inventors did not learn from the Wright Brothers how to make efficient propellers. The opposite seems to be true.

 

The theory that (wing warping) ailerons made the flight possible is a pure myth. People flew without ailerons for 20 minutes before the moment the Wright brothers appeared with their ailerons.

 

The Wright brothers appeared performing public flights (starting with Aug. 8, 1908) in a time when other aviators had already flown for about 20 minutes.

It is a myth the planes of the two brothers were far superior to other flying machines of the time.

Their planes had essentially a single advantage "they could turn in place".

 

Disadvantages:

 

1) They were unstable.

2) They did not have wheels, once landed they were hard to transport.

3) They required a catapult to take off, a huge complication.

4) They were hard to fly. Only to keep such a plane fly straight line the pilot had to steer continuously the tail, wing warping ailerons and the front horizontal rudder!

5) They lack a horizontal tail which made them also unstable in pitch.

 

Beside this, the 1908 planes, the only about which we know with certitude they flew, had:

 

1) French engines Bariquand & Marre.

2) Dihedral stability, unlike the alleged Flyer I 1903 and like the French planes.

3) High efficiency propellers, like the French planes.

 

Just because the Wright brothers established some flight duration records in the autumn of 1908 (due to the high quality french engines they used) it does not mean they invented the airplane.

 

The theory that wing warping made the flight possible is a pure myth. People flew without manual roll control for 20 minutes before the moment the Wright brothers appeared with their ailerons.

 

Piloting "Flyer I 1903" is "like balancing a yardstick on one finger, two at one time. If you lose it, it goes — quickly, said Fred Culick …"

 

(1)"EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Aviation experts … have found the Wright stuff — in the hands of modern pilots … — is a little wrong."

(2)"I'd say it was almost a miracle they were able to fly it, said Jack Cherne"

(3)"Using that data, they created a computer flight simulator that shows the plane to be so unstable, it is nearly impossible to fly."

(4)"It's like balancing a yardstick on one finger, two at one time. If you lose it, it goes — quickly, said Fred Culick …"

(5)"Every pilot, his first try, crashed the simulator. It took less than a second, said Capt. Tim Jorris".

(6)"I thoroughly cannot imagine the Wright brothers, having very little experience in powered aircraft, getting this airborne and flying, said Major Mike Jansen. "My respect for what they did went up immediately the first time I took the controls.""

(7)"Modifications will include … . A computer feedback system will assist the pilot. We want the experience, but we don't want to kill ourselves, Cherne said."

(see: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/science/astro/2001-07-05-wright-flyer.htm)

 

The most important arguments that the Wright brothers did not fly in 1904:

(Read the book "The Wrights and their impossible 1904 flights", for a detailed analyze on which the conclusions below are based)

 

• In a letter to Octave Chanute, dated Aug. 28, 1904, but also in his 1904-1905 Logbook E, at page 8, Wilbur furnishes precise details about a series of flights which show that the groundspeed of the plane (Flyer II) increased with the headwind intensity. The alleged trials are physical impossibilities and could not have happened.

• People who claimed they saw flights in 1904 but in reality lied:

- O. Chanute did not witness the 420-meter aerial trip above the ground of October 15, 1904, but pretended he saw it.

- Amos Ives Root did not see the circular flight of September 20, 1904, made by Wilbur, but maintained, till the end of his life, he was its spectator.

• The unreliable 1904 diary of Milton Wright:

- The contradictory statements in the Dec. 1st entry. The first paragraph says the old bishop was at home all day and the second that he left for Simms at 12:00 and saw Orville flying at 4:00 PM.

- The records in his journal, regarding the flights at Huffman’s field, show mainly numerical values, without any kind of personal impressions a father would have written had he seen his sons flying a heavier-than-air apparatus, a feat no one had accomplished before.

- The logbook G of Orville (kept on the machine) does not mention witnesses at all for the 1904 flights and that of Wilbur (labeled E), also it contains the names of a few bystanders, does not say anything about the presence of Milton Wright.

• The only newspaper, the Press of May 26th, which identified by name a number of people who saw the short hop of the same day and specified that one of its own reporters (unnamed) was also present, made a conflicting statement on Dec. 17, 1904, revealing that the brothers had not made any public trial, and had no intention of making any in the near future.

• The absence, from the 1904 newspaper articles, of identifiable spectators of the inventors’ 105 starts at Huffman Prairie (except in the May 26th number of the Press).

• Flyer II could not be No. 2 because Flyer I, 1903, had not been completed as of May 1904, according to the Wilmington Messenger (Wilmington, NC, May 26, 1904, col. 1, p. 6).

• The general attitude of O. Chanute. He repeatedly wrote ironic passages, in his letters to W. Wright, expressing his surprise that the brothers could have flown so many times without being remarked by the entire press in the US.

• The absence of O. Chanute from the list of 1903-1905 witnesses communicated by the Wrights to C. Dienstbach, in a letter dated November 17, 1905.

• The dubious technical characteristics, of the three aeroplanes built between 1903 and 1905, which closely follow a simple theoretical relation, Speed·Weight / Power ~ ct. , used in elementary aeronautical calculations.

• The absence from the publications of 1904 of any technical drawings or pictures showing Flyer I or II. In fact, the Wright powered machines started to have a clear face for the public only on August 8, 1908.

The flights of 1904 remain just claims made by the Wrights, without being backed by any reliable independent confirmation. On the contrary, all the existing evidence, the main subject of the study "The Wrights and their impossible 1904 flights", demonstrates that no powered flight took place that year at Huffman’s field, or at Kitty Hawk, in December 1903. What the brothers had was, at most, a device unable to take off, either unaided or accelerated by a catapult. The two Daytonians, mainly Wilbur, sent dishonest letters (to Chanute, Spratt, Dienstbach, Root and others) pretending aerial trips of various lengths and durations, and they also communicated similar lies to the newspapers."