Dayton, May 20, 1904
Your letter with N.Y. Press clipping received. The description of Archdeacon's machine as "a man lying on his stomach in the door of a chicken coop" is good.1
We have had almost constant rain for the past six or seven days and have not had opportunity to make any trial yet, but intend to make some flights Monday if the weather is good. We hope your engagements will permit you to be present. Our indoor tests of the machinery show excellent results. With the same screws we used last year we got an increase in power of more than one half. This is partly due to gearing the engine to run at higher speed per turn of screw, and partly to increase in efficiency of the engine itself.
1 The clipping was an illustrated story from the New York Press of Mar. 20, 1904. entitled "Tobogganing down the Wind on Aeroplanes in France." The story is largely an interview with Archdeacon, whose fatuous utterances on the ease of gliding flight must have seemed ridiculous to the Wrights. The description quoted in Wright's letter applies not to Archdeacon's machine but to Archdeacon's version of the Wright 1902 glider: ". . . Nothing could be imagined simpler than the Wright aeroplane. It is like this. "Here M. Archdeacon drew a rough plan that looked like a man on his stomach at the door of a chicken coop." The Wright 1902 glider had been "copied" by several Frenchmen, including Archdeacon (see Plates 104 and 110).
Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, May 26, 1904