In 1901, the two brothers returned to the outer banks of North Carolina. Unlike the previous year, they located full-sized spars before leaving Dayton, and so made no unexpected compromises in the construction of their craft. Also unlike the previous year, the two brothers made their camp at Kill Devil Hills, several dreary miles away from the town of Kitty Hawk. Kill Devil Hills had one important advantage: the hills could be used for gliding. The area near Kitty Hawk was just too flat for their needs.
Also unlike the previous year, the two brothers were not alone in camp. Chanute arranged for Edward C. Huffaker and George Spratt to join the brothers. Huffaker, the two brothers quickly learned, was as quick to offer moral and intellectual advice, but slow to accomplish actual work or to engage in personal hygene. When Huffaker left camp, Wilbur was surprised to learn that his blanket had abandoned its owner, apparently having taken a fancy to the unbathed Huffaker.
At least Spratt was a good companion and helpful colleague. Octave Chanute also joined the group for a short period of time, and for the first time witnessed the Wright's craft in flight.
Photographs of 1901 show the glider being flown as a manned craft, though the two brothers continued their practice of testing the craft as a kite to determine its lift and drag. Unfortunately, the tests were not as promising as the two brothers hoped.