We have your very kind letters of the 8th, 18th, and 21st of December, and we thank you for the kindly interest you have shown in our success.
We have just closed a contract with M. Arnold Fordyce, who represented Captain Ferber and several gentlemen of Paris, to give them an option on the first flyer offered for sale, for the use of the French army. We understand that they propose to present it as a gift to their government. We have just received a letter from the Board of Directors of a National Trades Society of another European country, who, having heard of our offer to sell for 1,000,000 francs to the French Government, desire us to give them an option on the machine in order that they may present it as a national gift from their Emperor, upon the occasion of an approaching fete. Our French agreement will prevent us from giving an exclusive option immediately.
Our engine has been very satisfactory, so far as reliability and strength are concerned, but its weight is many times greater than the French motors of the same horsepower rating. However, we can double the weight of our motor and then have no difficulty in being able to fly. We have never worked for lightness either in the motor or the framework of the machine, but rather have striven to secure strength and high efficiency. As a result we are able to make landing after landing without the slightest damage to our machine. Our motor is, we think, reasonably efficient, consuming less than one pound of gasoline an hour per horsepower.
We have not as yet begun to consider the formation of commercial companies, as we hope to be able to secure sufficient remuneration without doing so.
We think your cable message to Mr. Weaver has done a good deal towards hastening the visit of M. Fordyce to us, and we appreciate it as great favor. We hope to have the pleasure of making personal acquaintance upon your next visit to America, which Weaver says may be before long.
Thanking you for the copies of L'Auto, which have interested us much,. we are, [&c.]
Letter from Chanute to Wrights