Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute

Dayton, November 15, 1904

Could you loan us for a few days a copy of the Moedebeck handbook? Our attorney informs us that a reference to it has been made by the German patent office. It may be found that the reference is contained in the chapter on aviation of which we have an English translation, but as time is pressing I thought it might be well to secure the book if possible before going to Springfield to see the attorney. The American office has again rejected our claims but in doing so has suggested that the objections might be removed by slight changes in the wording of the claims which in nowise affect them for our purposes; so it seems probable that we will get all that we have claimed.

Three days sufficed to repair the damage the machine received the day you were here, but owing to the funeral of our neighbor and bad weather, it was ten days before we were able to make another trial. The changes made to remedy the trouble which caused Orville's misfortune gave the machine an unfamiliar feeling, and before I had gone far I ran it into the ground and damaged it again. On Nov. 2nd we circled the field again, and repeated it on the 3rd. On the 9th we went out to celebrate Roosevelt's election by a long flight and went around four times in 5 min. 4 sec. We unfortunately failed to set the recording anemometer and so did not get a measure of distance, but it was evidently a little over three miles. The trouble in righting the machine after swinging a short circle is evidently corrected. The machine landed without any injury and was put back on the track for another trial, but the wind had been working more and more to the south and we were unable to get another start.

The newspapers report a little whirl of excitement at St. Louis. The performance of the Baldwin machine is creditable though not remarkable, while the work of Knabenshue stamps him a man possessing qualities placing him in the first rank. It was also reported that Mr. Avery had sprained his ankle. I hope it was nothing serious.

Col. Capper stopped off at Dayton on his way East and spent a day with us. We were much pleased with him, and also Mrs. Capper, an unusually bright woman. It would seem that Mr. Herring has been in correspondence with the English war department, though I think little progress has been made.

Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, November 19, 1904