Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute

Dayton, July 4, 1901

Your very kind letter of 1st1 inst. rec'd. We expect to reach Kitty Hawk July 10th and will welcome the arrival of Messrs. Huffaker and Spratt at any time thereafter that they can arrange to come. I learn that the only boat direct from Elizabeth City, N.C., to Kitty Hawk leaves the former place Tuesday afternoon each week. Travelers coming to Eliz. City on any other day should take the steamer Neuse at 6 P.M. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for Roanoke Island, spend the night at Manteo, Roanoke Island, and go to Kitty Hawk on small mail boat the following morning early. Where possible word should be sent to us at Kitty Hawk several days in advance as we can often save considerable trouble by making special arrangements. Have already sent instructions to Mr. Huffaker on this. When you yourself come down it will be best to go to Roanoke Island and let us have a special boat there to meet you. It will be about as cheap and will save you considerable personal discomfort and delay. We will be glad to have you with us any or all the time between July 25th and Aug. 25th. If our material goes through promptly our machine will be complete by July 25th.

We note what you say in regard to the discretion and reliability of Messrs. Huffaker and Spratt. We have felt no uneasiness on this point, as we do not think the class of people who are interested in aeronautics would naturally be of a character to act unfairly. The labors of others have been of great benefit to us in obtaining an understanding of the subject and have been suggestive and stimulating. We would be pleased if our labors should be of similar benefit to others. We of course would not wish our ideas and methods appropriated bodily, but if our work suggests ideas to others which they can work out on a different line and reach better results than we do, we will try hard not to feel jealous or that we have been robbed in any way. On the other hand we do not expect to appropriate the ideas of others in any unfair way, but it would be strange indeed if we should be long in the company of other investigators without receiving suggestions which we could work out in such a way as to further our work.

The 10-horsepower motor you refer to is certainly a wonder if it weighs only thirty lbs. with supplies for two hours, as the gasoline alone for such an engine would weigh some ten or twelve lbs. thus leaving only 18 or 20 lbs. for the motor or about two lbs. per horsepower. Even if the inventor miscalculates by five hundred percent it still would be an extremely fine motor for aerial purposes.

Also on July 4, Chanute to Wilbur, 1901

1Wilbur apparently meant Chanute's letter of July 3.