Scientific American

No. 14
April 7, 1906
Pages 291-292

[paragraphs 1, 5, 6, 7 and last verbatim and in full]


According to the statement sent to the Aero Club of America recently by Messrs. Orville and Wilbur Wright (Which statement is, by the way, the first authoritative one made by the brothers in their own country), they have already solved the problem of the century, mechanical flight, with their motor-driven, man-carrying aeroplane. During the past three year in which they have been experimenting with it, they have made 160 flights averaging a mile each, but not until the machine had been changed and improved many times was such a degree of success attained as to make it possible to cover long distances at high speed with safety. As a result, the final flight of 24 1/2 miles made on October 5 last was longer than the 105 flights of 1904 taken all together.

[Paragraphs 5, 6, 7]
Owing to the fact that as soon as they had met with success the two brother attempted to sell their machine to the French government for war purposes and that, having it unprotected as yet by patents, they did not wish to disclose anything about it, photographs and data of interest are not available for publication.

When the list of their flights given above was first announced last December in France, it was incredible to many people both there and here that so novel a device as a flying machine could be operated frequently for nearly six months in the vicinity of a large city without the fact becoming generally known. the Wrights refused to make a statement, and they gave the names of but a few persons who had seen them fly. With the communication recently sent by them to the Aero Club, however, they sent a list of names of seventeen men who were eye-witnesses of their experiments.

In order to dispel any lingering doubt regarding the flights, the reported accounts of which the leading German aeronautical journal, Illustrirte Aeronautische Mitteilungen, characterized as "ein amerikanischer 'bluff.' " a list of questions was sent to the seventeen witnesses. In all we received eleven replies.

[Last paragraph]
Description of the original gliding experiments of the Wright brothers have already been published by us in 1902; and in the current SUPPLEMENT will be found the communication made recently by them to the Aero Club of America, in which they detail the gradual development of their machine, besides an article on the construction of their machine, which tells of the improvements they have effected.