Dayton, April 10, 1904
Your letter of March 30th and the newspaper clippings relating to the Maxim "flying Dutchman" have been received and we have "duly smiled."
We had seen, through the courtesy of Major Moedebeck, a copy of his paper containing the article on Mr. Herring, So far as we can see there is nothing in his picture which conflicts with any of our claims, even if his own story did not make it very apparent that he had been so lax in completing his invention along the lines indicated as to constitute an abandonment of it. It certainly has caused us no worry so far. Our patents have been filed already in England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Italy, and probably Russia, though we have no word yet regarding the last.
We recently wrote Mr. Smith1 asking that the words "starting point" be interpreted as including the entire aeronautical enclosure, and he writes that this will be conceded. As this gives the entire enclosure for starting, and the entire enclosure together with a fiftyyard strip outside the fence for landing, the conditions are thus made much less severe than if more strictly interpreted. The only question now is whether we can make sure that the engine will run twenty minutes under full load without any serious risk of making a single stop in three trips.
Bad weather has delayed the completion of our new building so that we have not yet commenced setting together the new machine, but hope to begin soon. It will probably be close to the first of June before we make any flights.
1 Wilbur Wright to Willard A. Smith, March 28, 1904. This letter is not included in this volume, but a portion of it is quoted in n. 2, Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute, Mar. 1, 1904.
Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute,
April 14, 1904