Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute

Dayton. March 8, 1908

Your letter of 24th February has been received. I do not think we have done Mr. Turner injustice in our thoughts of him. He is not honest. He pretends to his readers that we said certain things to him, when in reality he borrowed them from addresses five or six years old and the article in the Aero Club book. Then he misrepresents the atmosphere of the real conversation by presenting it as a more or less authorized statement, and as though the subjects taken up were those we chose to present, when in fact they were not intended for publication and were in answer to questions which we could not well evade without rudeness. In some cases he has quoted us as saying things we never said to him or to anyone, as for instance the paragraph saying "We object to being presented to the world as men acrobats," &c., &c. My quotation is not exact but gives the general idea. We did not say that we objected, nor did we indicate any feeling in the matter at all beyond mere amusement at the blunder. He had no right to put such words into our mouths. It is very much the same all through the article. The objection is not to gross errors in statement of important facts, but to the flavor of misrepresentation which pervades it. If the "fakery" were more apparent I would not be so angry, for gross frauds correct themselves.

I am sending you several copies of the 1903 address as requested and also a spare copy of our first patent. The later patents have not yet been issued. They cover broadly the idea of using horizontal surfaces adjustable about a transverse axis so as to face forward at different angles on right & left sides, in combination with means of correcting the resulting disturbance of balance about the vertical axis by the use of rudders, vanes, or resistances in front, behind, or on the wing tips. They also cover detail features, such as imparting a helicoidal warp to the aeroplanes; and in addition the particular means of doing it in double deck machine. We also have the flexible rudder capable of being curved simultaneously with its adjustment to different angles above or below the horizontal. We do not believe it will be found easy to construct machines comparing in quality with ours without palpable infringement of our claims. In flying only the best possible machines will be used. After the first machines it is the intention to bring the price to a point where governments will use scores of them. Since our arrival in Europe last spring we have been less apprehensive of unfair treatment by governments. We have reason to believe they will be satisfied with our prices and will use our machines in large quantities.

Our work on parts for new machines is almost finished. We may decide to complete our U.S. contract before going to Europe.

Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, March 20, 1908