Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute

Elizabeth City, April 8, 1908

I am on my way to Kitty Hawk to get a camp in shape for a little practice before undertaking the official trials at Washington and in France. I am not sure that I mentioned the fact that we have been in negotiation for the sale of our French rights for several months past, and that we finally accepted the offer of M. Lazare Weiller who is the head of many large enterprises in France. The contract was closed on the basis of 500,000 frs. cash and one half the founders' shares, the founders' shares being entitled to one half the profits, after interest has been paid on the cash capital. We are to make two flights, each of 50 kilometers within an hour. The flight in each case must be made within four days of the time we may designate for the first attempt, and must be not later than five months from the first of June. In case of high wind or breakage of machine, the time required for return of flying conditions is omitted in counting the four days.

We would have preferred to let the arrangement of European sales rest till after the U.S. business had been finished, but when it came to accepting or refusing a direct offer, we thought, on the whole, it would be safer to accept it. It includes both government & commercial rights for France & its colonies. The contract also provides for the sale of four additional machines beyond that used in the demonstration; we are to have an extra 20,000 frs. each for these machines, 80,000 frs. in all. About half will be profit. We are a little worried for fear one of us will have to go to France before the U.S. work is finished.

Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, April 13, 1908