Dayton, August 8, 1904
Your letter of July 31st received. I beg your pardon for my neglect in failing to return the Ill. Mitteilungen promptly. I will send it at once, and thank you for the loan of it.
During July we made but two trials of the Flyer No. 2, and they were of more value for the lessons they taught than for exhibition purposes. After reconstructing some parts of the machine we resumed practice last week and made two trials Tuesday, two on Thursday, two on Friday and three Saturday. One of the Saturday flights reached 600 ft., which is the best we have done with the new machine so far. We have found great difficulty in getting sufficient initial velocity to get real starts. While the new machine lifts at a speed of about 23 miles, it is only after the speed reaches 27 or 28 miles that the resistance falls below the thrust. We have found it practically impossible to reach a higher speed than about 24 miles on a track of available length, and as the winds are mostly very light, and full of lulls in which the speed falls to almost nothing, we often find the relative velocity below the limit and are unable to proceed. It is a pity we cannot trade a few of our calms to Prof. Langley for some of his windy days that used to trouble him so. It is evident that we will have to build a starting device that will render us independent of wind, and are now designing one. Meanwhile we will take advantage of days when there is suitable wind.
Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright,
August 14, 1904