Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute

Dayton, October 18, 1901

I return today the Huffaker diary, the Obermayer article, and Aeronautics. I have had great pleasure in reading all of them and wish to thank you for the loan of them. The Huffaker diary is of more value as a record of "impressions" of a man of unusually good judgment in most things than as an exact record of experiments. He is too shiftless both in the care and in the use of instruments to make his readings of great value. He had an unfortunate habit of laying stop watches and anemometers uncovered upon the drifting sand, and using a light camera as a stool. When I myself took observations of speeds and angles to confirm his, the reading was invariably different. His measurements were invariably too favorable. Thus on Aug. 13 he gives glides of 9° when I am certain that none were less than 10°, and in his account of experiments of July 27, though the first eight attempts were really complete failures, he records a glide of 370 ft. (!) in the 8th and 300 ft. in the 7th. The 9th, 11th, and 17th trials were the only real glides made that day. In many cases he puts down data as though from observation when in reality they are only estimates made while seated at a distance.

A few notes accompany the Obermayer article.

[P.S.] I should be glad to have the Lilienthal book in German if you are willing to intrust it to me for a short time.

This is the last letter we've got scanned in. It will be a while before we get any more online. GB, 2/11/1997