Dayton, June 14, 1904
I have your letter of June 8th. It would seem quite probable that Santos Dumont has made private trials as you suggest. A man of his experience would not be likely to make such a mistake as that which Winton made in the Gordon Bennett automobile race last year. If, as the newspapers report, he is bringing his 60 H.P. motor, he should have little difficulty getting inside the 15 mile limit, as it would require less than half the power necessary for 20 mi.
We certainly have been "Jonahed" this year, partly by bad weather, and partly by being compelled to use pine spars in our wings, which causes breakages difficult to repair quickly. We now have spruce in the central sections and do not anticipate further trouble from that source. The weather we do not have any power over, but hope to find a good day soon. We should have made a trial today but for threatening weather. We made a trial last week but made an awkward start and struck the ground after about 60 ft. This machine is entirely new, including engine and machinery. We are using the old screws.
Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, June 17, 1904