Kill Devil Hills, October 16, 1903
We regret to learn that there is danger of your being unable to visit our camp this year. We are expecting the most interesting results of any of our seasons of experiment, and are sure that, barring exasperating little accidents or some mishap, we will have done something before we break camp. We were delayed a week by the nonarrival of some of our goods, but now have everything. The upper surface of new machine is completed. It is far ahead of anything we have built before. The lower surface is about half done. It will probably be nearly Nov. 1st before we are ready for trial, especially if we have some nice soaring weather. On Saturday, Oct. 3rd, we had some nice gliding, the wind being a little too light for soaring, only 6 to 7 meters; however, we increased our record to 43 seconds and made quite a number about 30 seconds. We have had no suitable winds since, as the last round of north winds ranged from 30 to 75 miles and was accompanied by four days of constant rain. A cyclone is supposed to have got becalmed off the coast near here and could not get away sooner. The natives report it the worst storm within many years. We had no trouble except the annoyance and a little delay.
I see that Langley has had his fling, and failed. It seems to be our turn to throw now, and I wonder what our luck will be. We will still hope to see you before we break camp.
Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, October 24, 1903