Wright Brothers Fake Flight

Really. While the Wright brothers first powered flight occurred on this date in 1903, it was largely ignored. Back home, some interest developed, but then the bros. staged a press flight near Dayton on May 23, 1904 designed to put a damper on things. Ostensibly because of wind and mechanical issues they never managed a flight until a few days later when only a few reporters were present.

Donald Howard, a former aeronautics librarian for the Library of Congress, in Wilbur and Orville: A Biography of the Wright Brothers explains how the Wrights, methodical as always, carefully defended their work.

But while Orville and Wilbur Wright threw a veil of secrecy over their own efforts Glenn Curtiss teamed with engineers in America and abroad, freely exchanging information in an attempt to resolve the most difficult challenges in constructing a reliable and stable airplane. Five years after the Wright brothers' first flight, Curtiss piloted his groundbreaking June Bug on its first public flight in America.

Fiercely jealous, the Wright brothers took to the courts in an unsuccessful attempt to keep Curtiss and his airplanes out of the sky and off the market.



Robert said…
The first flight of the wright brother was in Europe in 1908.

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