The Wright brothers' aeroplane -- How we made the first flight -- Some aeronautical experiments
d in the air for over a minute, often soaring for a considerable time in one spot, without any descent at all. Little wonder that our unscientific assistant should think the only thing needed to keep it indefinitely in the air would be a coat of feathers to make it light!
With accurate data for making calculations, and a system of balance effective in winds as well as in calms, we were now in a position, we thought, to build a successful power-flyer. The first designs provided for a total weight of 600 lbs., including the operator and an eight horse-power motor. But, upon completion, the motor gave more power than had been estimated, and this allowed 150 lbs. to be added for strengthening the wings and other parts.
Our tables made the designing of the wings an easy matter, and as screw-propellers are simply wings traveling in a spiral course, we anticipated no trouble from this source. We had thought of getting the theory of the screw-propeller from the marine engineers, and then, by applying ou
Perhaps not the most riveting read in the world due to it being necessarily technical in places, and rather more like a cobbled together bundle of scientific papers than a coherent book as such. Even so, the first half, which concerns the flights, the people involved, and some technical elements is interesting enough to warrant reading a book as short and historically important as this.
As it says it is an early history. This book concentrates on the experiences of the Wrights themselves as they bring the first aircraft into the air. Others are mentioned in so far as the influences they may have had on the nature of the Wright Brothers experience and experiments conducted. Some earlier experiments are not credited properly and there are some facts that obviously were intended to mislead others in any attempt to retrace the experiments independently. While the book gives a fair quantity of technical data there is a lack of "feeling" and so the reason behind their quest is rather untouched.