Dayton Daily News from Dayton, Ohio on January 31, 1948 · 8
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Dayton Daily News from Dayton, Ohio · 8

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Saturday, January 31, 1948
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PAGE 8 THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 1948 F Z Life Story Of Orville Wright, First To Ride In An Airplane DEATH has come to the first man in history to experience the thrilling sensation of powered flight in a heavier-than-air plane. It was OrvilJe Wright who, on Dec 17, 1903, soared aloft for the first time at Kitty Hawk, N. C, as bis brother, Wilbur, who pre- ceded him in death in May, 1912, at the age of 45, stood on the ground and observed the realiza tion of man s oldest aream. Orville Wright, whom the nation and the world mourn today, was of humble birth. He was the son of Milton and Susan Wright. His father was a pastor of the I nited Brethren church and, at the time of Orville's birth, editor of the Religious Telescope in Daynn. Orville was born on Aug. 19, if the teacher asked one of the on March 1, 1889. Later this be- group to stand up in class, as the guilty person, all should stand. Fortunately the teacher or the janitor forgot about the Incident over the week-end. Orville'a schooling difficulties, however, did not end at that time. He wag in the sixth grade at Richmond before the move back to Dayton, and about a week or two before the end of the term he got into some mischief that caused his teacher to dismiss him, Davton Schooling THUS THE NEXT YEAR when it came time for him to enter school in Dayton, he had no certificate to show that he had com- oHnmont in hia nrntootL thot ha hA at, and finally the immortal shop inn. in a modest seven-room rntT,ntPtpH th VraHp nnrl nat 11:27 W. Third st It was at the hnirte at 7 Hawthorn St., on :;;. not fQH orrraA latter that the ideas and prepay pyton West Side. A sister y!t0 pemit him to enter the BeVenth ! fions for the first plane were JStrnr ne. HOW owmku. uiic vi i J. Thi. tnr nan tuarHM the guiding inspirations in the life i at th'e years end when 0ine or oom vr gni orouicis, """'j passed to the eighth grade with there too, three years later and on tne hisrhest raaiks in arithmetic. came a daily called "The Evening Item," and in 1894 a smaller two-column weekly, "Snapshots," devoted to comments on local events. WITH PROCEEDS from the printing business, Orville branched into another venture. He purchased a bicycle. A short time later hi brother Wilbur also purchased one, ine popularity or this type transportation convinced him that nere was something that would grow, so they decided to go into th3 bicycle sales business. However, they found that a re pair shop was an important ad iunct In Dayton they were to have four shops, at 100a W. Third st 1034 W. Third St., 22 S. Williams the same date as Orville. He owed his name to Orville Dpwp. a Unitarian minister greatly admired by his parents. Earlv History SEVEN YEARS after Orville's birth, his father, who during this time had been a bishop of the United Brethren church, was sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Three years later they moved to Richmond, Ind.. and then in June. 1884. the family returned to Dayton and to their home on Hawthorn st. It was in Cedar-Rapids that the event occurred which was to affect the lives of Orville and Wilbur and the world. Bishop Wright, returning from a short trip on church business, brought back a small present. He held the gift between his hands as the two boys eagerly watched. Then he tossed the gift upwards. Instead of falling to the floor as they had expected, the "thing" rose upward to the ceiling, where it fluttered briefly before falling. That gift was a flying machine, a helicopter invented by a French man, Alphonse Penaud. Though His interest in mathematics was evidenced later in his fresh-, man year in high school when in an algebra class he was asked to demonstrate a problem on the blackboard. His teacher, at the conclusion of the demonstration, called attention to the fact that although he had the correct answer, the method was not that of the text. He explained that he had been reading another algebraic text, written by Went-worth, saying that he got a lot of "stuff" from the author. His teacher remonstrated him for referring to what she termed a "beautiful science" as "stuff." Evidencing a scientific turn of mind at that early age, Orville Wright read copiously the scientific articles in both the Encyclopedia Britannica and Chambers' Encyclopedia. Neither Orville nor Wilbur Wrieht completed their normal education, yet Orville at the time c. his death held the following honorary degrees from the nation s leadine colleges and universities Bachelor or science and doctor of law from Ear'ham college in Indiana; doctor of law from Ober- In the interim between the gift of the toy helicopter from thei father, the Wright brothers had from time to time come across magazine articles reporting on man's attempt to fly. . Of great interest were the attempts of a German, Otto Lilienthal, who had reportedly been gliding through the air in a machine he had built. Much has been written and pub' lished on the efforts of the two brothers toward the development and perfection, crude though it was in comparison to the ships of today, of that first airplane. Just who was most responsible for the ultimate development one cannot say, both of the Wright brothers contributed wholeheartedly toward its final success. Suffice it here to sav that their erforts were crowned with success and that recognition, although com ing belatedly, has been worldwide just 'a crude contraption made of ;1in college; doctor of science from cork, bamboo and thin paper, and powered with rubber bands, it actually did fly. Although at the time Orville was too young to do much aircraft constructing, he was a keenly interested spectator as Wilbur, answering the challenge of the air, sought to construct other and larger models of the device. One thing they discovered was that the larger the models became, the less they would fly. Bovhood Pranks ORVILLE'S TALENTS at that age turned in another direction. He had been reading much about Napoleon and one Friday afternoon after his grade school had been dismissed he organized an "army" among his classmates. Their objective was the throwing of gravel against the windows of the school and taunting schoolmates who were still at their studies. All went well until the janitor gave chase, , The boys escaped with the thought that plenty of trouble would await them Monday on their return to school. At that early age, Orville, mounting a small box in the alley to which they had retreated, ex hibited an unusual degree of lead ership and common sense for one bo young. He introduced his cronies to the axiom. "All for one and one for all," telling them that Wright Gave Political Vieivs In Intervieiv Orville Wright seldom gave out Interviews to the press and even less often commented on world affairs. However, on his 75th birthday revealed himself as a man with very firm political beliefs in an interview which was copyrighted by The Dayton Daily News. In this Interview Mr. Wright dwelt at some length on the threat of communism to the world and particularly to the United States. "The United States is a democracy," he said. "We never will have Communism here unless the people want it Russia cannot force it upon us. The rnost she can do is to preach it to us as we world. If there is nothing good, Jld of Orville. Thus it was in the Russian system; we do not at ke enlisted the aid of a friend Trinity college; doctor of science from the University or Cincinnati; master of arts from Yale univer sity; doctor of engineering from the University of Michigan; doctor or law from Harvard university; doctor of science from Ohio State university: doctor of law from Huntington college in Indiana; doctor of science from the Univer sity of Dayton and doctor of sci ence from Utterbein college. In June, 1944, he became the third American in history to re ceive a degree from the British Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Since he was not present at the ceremonies attendant with the pres- entation, it was received by Dr, H. N. Gates, president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers from Lord Halifax, British ambassador to the United States. 3 An Alert Mind ORVILLE HAD an eager and alert mind even as a youth, a fact that was evident most of all to his mother, who once compared the two boys. "Orv," she said, "is quicK and alert the grass will never grow under his feet yet his mind will develop and improve until he is 50. Wilbur is different. He wm mature quickly." His mother was right. Orville Wright's mind was developing and improving at 60 and beyond. Even up to the time of his death he was called in for frequent consultations with aeonautical engineers at Wright Field, and at his laboratory on N. Broadway he continued his experiments in aviation and in allied mechanical fields. In fact. Just a few years before his death, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first flight, Miss Mabel Beck, his able secretary, could complain that his work was not only taking up all the laboratory space, but that one of his latest experiments was at the time crowding her desk. Exemplary of Orville's eager mind, was an event which occurred in Richmond when he was 12. At that time he became interested in wood engravings, going so far as to fashion a crude woodcutting tool from the spring of an old pocket knife. With this, and a set of tools given him for Christmas, he made several woedcuts and utilizing an old letter press, made several copies of his endeavors. On his return to Dayton soon afterward, the printing "bug : still was have to adopt any part of it," Later in this interview Mr. Wright declared: "I am not a Communist, and I have never cast a vote for socialism, but I do believe there are some good things in socialism which should be given serious consideration." Mr. Wright was also outspok.ia E' Sines, vho had a small press and the printing firm of bines and Wright was born. From this association, aided and abetted by gifts of type and the purchase of a larger press, the two printed a paper called "The Midget." which was not distributed. Later, going into the printing bit. wngM was aiso ouwpo..a bn8i In earnest, Orville ob-in his criticism of some aspects of uined a than would int , ine Americ.ii cauiutiui; ysm sneet n by 16 jncnps and jn nis pointing out that the average price of an article sold on the open market is five times what was paid to the workman who produced it. "The other four-fifths " he said, go to people who have contributed determination to understand all the ancles of the trade obtained em ployment during two summer vacations at a Dayton printing plant, working 60 hours a week. Culmination of all these efforts, nothine to its value. This is mostly i after the interest nf hi hrnrW due to unrestricted competition Wilbur, had been aroused, was the which we once thought was the life! setting up of a printshop on W. f trade, but which today has be-Third st., near Broadway, where come the most serious defect In the first issue of a weekly. "The our national economy." jWest Side News," was published The First Flight ALTHOUGH Wilbur Wright won the toss or a coin to see who would make the first flight, it was Orville, after an unsuccessful at tempt by Wilbur, who rode air borne for the first time on Dec. 17 1903, three days following hi brother's attempt. Here is Orville Wright's account or that first attempt by Wilbur, and later of his own successful flight: "I took a position at one of the wings, intending to help balance the machine as it ran down the track. But when the restraining wire was slipped the machine started off so quickly I could stay with it only a few feet. After a 35- to 40-foot run it lifted from the rail. "But it was allowed to turn up too much. It climbed a few feet stalled and then settled to the ground near the foot of the hill 105 feet below. My stopwatch showed that it had been in the air just three and a half seconds. In landing the left wing touched first The machine swung around, dug the skids into the sand and broke ope of them. Several other parts were also broken, but the damage to the machine was not serious. "While the tests had shown nothing as to whether the power of the motor was sufficient to keep the machine up, since the landing was made many feet below the starting point, the experiment had demonstrated that the method for launching the machine was a safe and practical one. On the whole, we were much pleased. "Two days were consumed In making repairs and the machine was not ready again till late in the afternoon of the 17th. While we had it out on the track in front of the building, making the final adjustments, a stranger came along. After looking at the ma chine a few seconds he inquired what it was. When we told him it was a flying machine he asked whether we intended to fly it. We said we did, as soon as we had a suitable wind. "He looked at it several minutes longer and then, wishing to be courteous, remarked that it looked as if it would fly, if it had a 'suitable wind.' We were much amused, for, no doubt, he had in mind the recent 75-mile gale when he repeated our words, a 'suitable wind.' "During the night of Dec 16, a strong, cold wind blew from the north. When we arose on tha morning of the 17th the puddles of water, which had been standing about the camp since the recent rains, were covered with ice. . The wind had a velocity of 10 to 12 meters per second (22 to 27 miles an hour). "We thought it would die down before long and so remained indoors the early part of the morning. But when 10 o'clock arrived and the wind was as brisk as ever. we decided that we had better get the machine out and attempt a flight, we hung out the sisrnal for the men of the life saving station. We thought that by facing the flyer into a strong wind, there ought to be no trouble in launching it from the level ground about camp. We realized the difficulties of flying in so high a wind, but estimated that the added dangers in flight would be partly compensated for by the slower speed in landing. "We laid our track on a smooth stretch of ground about 100 feet west of the new building. The biting cold wind made work dif ficult, and we had to warm up frequently In our living room, where we had a good fire in an improvised stove made of a large carbide can. By the time all was ready, J. T. Daniels, W. S. Dough and A. D. Etheridge, members of the Kill Devil life saving station; W. C. Brinkley of Manteo and Johnny Moore, a boy from Nag's Head, had arrived. "We had a 'Richard hand anemometer with which we meas ured the velocity of the wind, Measurements made just before starting the first flight showed velocities of 11 to 12 meters per second or 24 to 27 miles per hour. Measurements made just before the last flight gave between nine to 10 meters per second. One made just after ward showed a little over eight rooters. "The records of the government weather bureau at Kitty Hawk gave the velocity of the wind be tween the hours of 10:30 and 12 o'clock, the time during which the four flights were made, as aver aging 27 miles at the time of the first flight and 24 miles at the time of the last. "With all the knowledge and skill acquired in thousands of flights in the last 10 years, i would hardly think today of mak insr mv first flight on a Strang machine in a 27-mile wind, even if I knew that the machine had al ready been flown and was safe. After these years of experience I look with amazement upon our audacity in attempting flights with a new and untried machine under such circumstances. "Yet faith in our calculations and the design of the first machine, based upon our tables of air pressure, obtained by months of careful laboratory work, and confidence in our system of control developed by three years of actual experience in balancing gliders in the air. had convinced us that the machine was canable of lifting and maintaining itself in the air and that with a little practice it could be safely flown. "Wilbur having used his turn in the unsuccessful attempt on the 14th, the right to the first trial now belonged to me. After run ning the motor a few minutes to heat it up. I released the wire that held the machine to the track, and the machine started forward into the wind. Wilbur ran at the side of the machine, holding the wing to balance it on the track. Unlike the start of the 14th, made in a calm, the machine, facing a 27' mile wind, started very slowly. "Wilbur was able to stay with it until it lifted from the track after a 40-foot run. The slow for ward speed of the machine over the ground ' clearly shown in the picture by Wilbur's attitude. He stayed along beside the machine without any effort. "The course of the flight np and down was exceedingly erratic, partly due to the irregu larity of the air and partlv to lack of experience in handling this machine. The control of the front rudder was difficult on ac count of its being balanced too near the center. This gave it a tendency to turn itself when started so that it turned too far on one side and then too far on the other. As a result, the machine would rise suddenly to about 10 feet and then as suddenly dart for the cround. A sudden dart, when a little over a hundred feet from the end of the track, or a little over 120 feet from the point at which it rose into the sir, ended the flight. As the velocity of the ind was over 3o feet per second and the speed of the machine over the ground against this wind 10 feet ner second, the sneed of the machine relative to the air was over 45 feet per second and the length nf the flight was equivalent to a flight of 540 feet made in calm air. "This flight lasted only 12 sec onds, but it was nevertheless the first in the history of the world n which a machine carrying a man had raised itself by its own power to the air in full flight, had sailed forward without reduction f speed and had finally landed at point as high as that from which t started. be Joined by Orville in August f name of which he did not know, and despite the efforts of eminent It was on the trip over that Or- Finally a member of the com- (specialists died on May 30, 1912. Tine c&iuuucu i ne type ui exact- i miuee hit on the idea ot driving ing memory which he retained through the streets, banking on up until the time of his death. the fact that Orville Wrieht He had occasion to talk with a fellow passenger and although the man's face was not familiar some thing in his voice stirred a memory. He asked the passenger if he had been at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, to which the man said yes. Then he asked if he had the occasion to explain the work ings or a particular device to a by stander. This reply, too, was af firmative. Orville had been the fellow to whom the explanation was directed. Military Contract THE ARMY accepted the Wright brothers' bid for the first military aircraft on Feb. 8. 1908. In May of that year Wilbur sailed for France where he was to demon strate the plane. Meanwhile in September Orville took the ship constructed for the army to Ft. Myer, Va., where he made an initial demonstration for the officials gathered about the small parade ground. He continued the flights for several days, finally taking a friend, Lt. frank rV Lahm, up with him as passenger. Lt Lahm thus became the first military man to fly. the tests ended in a tragedy on Sept. 17 when with Lt. Thomas Sel fridge as a passenger, the plane crashed, fatally injuring the lieutenant. Orville Wright escaped with what appeared to be only a fractured left leg and four broken ribs, but subsequent X-ray examinations 12 years later disclosed that the accident had caused three fractures in the hip bones, besides a dislocation of one of them. Shortly after the accident he was visited at the hospital by a mend who asked if the crash had got his nerve." "Nerves?" the famed inventor was said to ask. 'Oh. you mean will I be afraid to fly again? The only thing Ira afraid of is that I can't get well soon enough to finish those tests next year." The tests did convince skepticists that the airplane was indeed a reality. ( IN JANUARY, since he had re covered from his injuries, he and his sister, Katherine, left for Pau, France where they joined Wilbur. En route from Paris their train was wrecked near the town of Pax, but both escaped injury. While in Europe Urvi'le and Wilbur conferred with Capt. von Kehler, a German who went to Rome to meet them. The captain indicated the desire of several wealthy Germans to set up a German Wright Co., and the final contract by which the brothers received cash, a block of stock in the company and 10 per cent royalty on all planes sold, was closed in August 1909. Leaving Rome they - wert to Le Mans, France, site of their first flight on European soil, and re ceived a bronze art piece presented by the Aero club of the Sarthe. From France they went to London where they received gold medals from the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain and the Aero club of the United Kingdom. They then sailed for the United States. In New York they were further onored by the presentation" of medals by the Aero club of America; these were formally presented a month later by President laft in Washington. would probably go directly to the center of town. He was confident that although he had never seen the inventor he would be able to spot him.. The plan worked, much to Orville's relief. During his remaining stay in Germany, he carried the Crown Prince aloft as the first member of a royal family ever to fly. In appreciation he was presented with a jeweled stick pin with a "W" in diamonds. The "W" stood for Wilhelm, not Wright On that same day he rose to 1600 feet for an unofficial world's record. He and his sister left Germany shortly afterwards, arriving at New York on Nov. 4. Pilot Certificate No. 1 ON NOV. 22, 1909, The Wright Co. was incorporated with a capi tal stock of $200,000, with offices in New York and a factory in Dayton. After renting floor space in a factory, the "Vrights started to build a modern plant which was completed in November. 1910, Shortly afterward Miss Mabel Beck was engaged as a secretary. boon atter the company was formed, it was decided that tp pub licize the plane and arouse a na tional interest in flying, exhibi tion flights would have to be planned. Orville was placed in charge of training exhibition pi lots and set up a school at Mont gomery, Ala. Shortly after his arrival there, while flying at about 1500 feet, he ran into a new experience he was unable to descend, even though the ship was pointed downward as much as seemed safe. He remained "suspended" for a five-minute period before the controls would respond, and he was starting to become alarmed. On landing it occurred to him that the plane must have been atop a rising current of air which kept it suspended. His first pupil at that school was Walter Brookin3, a native Day- tonian. On May, 8, 1910, he returned to Uayton, leaving Brookins then a competent pilot, in charge' of the school. Un his return he estab lished another school at Huffman Field and here continued to make frequent flights, personally testing every new device used on the plane. In 1!18 he made his final flight as a pilot and so far as is known did not handle the controls of .a plane again until 1944 when the army version of the Lockheed Constellation was brought to Wright Field for tests. He made a flight in the ship, accompanied by newsmen, and took over the controls for a brief period during the flight. iirther Experiments FOLLOWING further experi ments at Kitty Hawk, the brothers in 1904 constructed a shed at Huff' man Field, site of the present Wright Field, and continued their studies there. Their flights at tracted little attention even in Dayton, although passersby on a nearby interurban line often saw their plane circling around the field. It was here in September, 1905. that while Orville was flying the plane, it inadvertently fell into a tail-spin and he narrowly escaped serious injury and a crash when the machine straightened up just a few feet above the ground. He narrowly escaped injury later In the same year, when the plane, after leaving the starting rail, beean pitching like a bucking bronco. Orville wanted to stop but at every plunge the plane came down so steeply that he did not dare effect a landing. Finally after going about 400 feet he was able to land safely. European Travels EUROPEAN aviation enthusiasts evinced more interest in the early achievements of the Wright broth ers than did Americans, and thus it was that in. May. 1907 Wilbur left for London and the continent, to Return To Dayton FINALLY, after an absence of five months, the brothers returned to Dayton on June 17. There fol lowed a two-day celebration which has been unrivalled in the history of the city. Business was suspended for the occasion, and the entire city turned out in welcome. On the second day Bishop Wright gave the invocation before presentation of three medals to his sons. One, ordered by an act of Congress, was presented by Gen. James Allen, chief signal officer of the army; another, ordered by the Ohio Legislature, was presented by Gov, Harmon, and a third, from the city. was presented by the mayor. After the celebration Orville and his brother left for Washington where they were to complete the army trials. He made his first flight on June 28 and finished on July 30, and during the speed trials flew the ship at 43 miles per hour, three miles over that required, and earning a bonus of $5000. Almost immediately afterwprd, accompanied by his sister, he left for Berlin, to start training a fly er for the German Wright Co. His first flight, of 15 minutes duration, brought instant adulation. People clamored not only for a close look, but fought to touch particles of his clothing. Airship Flight AS A RESULT of his achieve ment, he and his sister were invited by Kaiser Wilhelm to witness the first trip of Count von Zeppelin from Freidrichshafen to Tegel Field, Berlin. On meeting the count he immediately invited him to take a ride in the plane, but the count refused. Later Orville flew in the airship from Frankfort to Mannheim. At the latter city he was separated from the count in the vast crowd. He knew little German, and relied upon the count as his interpreter. He was expected to attend a luncheon at s hotel, the ONE OF THE many honors conferred upon Orville Wright by the nation was given in 1940 when con. gress passed and President Hoover approved a measure authorizing the issuance of honorary aircraft pilot s certificate No. 1, to the co-mventor of the world's first suc cessful heavier-than-air plane, The award was the result of a bill introduced into the house of representatives calling upon con gress to authorize the Civil Aero- nautics Authority, "to issue to Orville Wright honorary aircraft pilots certificate numbered 1. in recognition of the outstanding service rendered by him in advancing the science of aero nautics." At that time, Robert H. Hinckley, chairman of the CAA wrote in approval of the measure: "Mr. Wright was the world's first navigator of the air in a heavier-than-air craft. He was the first man in the world to fly. He and his brother pointed the way, and provided the instrument for unnumbered generations of successors in the realm that they first entered. j "In the eyes of those engaged in aeronautical pursuits, or interested in aeronautical development, no honor can be too high, and Orville succeeded his brother as president of the Wright Co. He made his last trip to Europe in 1913, accompanied by his sister, Katharine, the object being for business related io a patent suit in Germany. While there he sanctioned the formation of a Wright company in England. Realizing that the airplane busi ness was becoming too burdensome, in 1914 he purchased all the stock of other shareholders in the Wright Co., except those of Robert J. Collier. Shortly after making the purchases, he indicated his willing ness to dispose of . his entire interest, to which Cdlier agreed. Thus it was that in October, 1915 the company was sold to a group or eastern capitalists that included William Boyce Thompson ind Frank Manville. Rare Puhlic Appearances FOLLOWING the sale of the Wright company ind subsequent curtailment in active business interests, Orville withdrew from public life almost entirely. His rare public appearances in both Dayton and the nation were news events in themselves and were limited generally to meetings of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences in which he was actively interested, particularly in the de velopment of new scientific de vices as applied to aircraft .. Rare though his public appearances were in the latter years of his life, still rarer were his public utterances. No matter how strongly urged, or from what dignitary appeals came, he would never deliver an address, limiting his words to mere "thank you" or words of appreciation at the tributes paid him. In this respect he emulated closely the words of his brother who on one occasion when called on to speak said: "The only bird that speaks that I know of is the parrot, and he can't fly." nis newspaper utterances were almost as rare as his appearances although he treated reporters with the utmost courtesv and kinrilinp at his rare interviews. His was the love of reminiscing. Many times reporters have been granted "a few minutes" for an Interview and have sat for hours listening to wrignt go back over the early days of flight, calling to mind long forgotten incidents and accurately calling by name each of the participants. Reporters who talked to Orville had to have the faculty of remembering his words by mental proc ess, since the sight of notebook or copy paper produced silence, or at best a change of topic to trivial material. Dailv Work Schedule ALMOST UNTIL the day of his death Orville maintained a clocklike schedule between his Oakwood home and his N. Broadway laboratory. Dailv he rode to work. driving his own car most of the time, put in long hours in the lab oratory, then drove home again in tne evening. One never heard of the work that he did In his laboratory ex cept by reference to "one of my projects," but it was evident that he carried on his experiments in the same painstaking and exacting way as when the first airplane was built. In one interview he did remark that he was extremely interested in the development of the fluid drive in automobiles, and to that end had constructed several models and in which it is understood automotive engineers were much interested. In addition to these Interests he was long admired by aero nautical engineers at Wright Field, and although the matters were never publicized it was known that when any particularly difficult! aircraft engineering iob arose in the laboratories, he was called in for consultation. technical improvements, and thai in the years to come those safety features would replace in part the devastation air power brought about i Aerial Warfare AT A MEETING of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences in Dayton in April, 1940, he entered a discussion of the application of the airplane to aerial warfare, and made this statement: "The airplane was originally designed to bring the fear of war closer home to warring nations and thus eliminate war. Cut, I'm afraid it isn't working out as soon as we had hoped. In time I believe it will." Unfortunately and mistakenly. during these later years, the- Smithsonian Institution at Wash-ngton questioned the validity of hia claims as to the creation and flight of the first successful heavier-than-air-craft. Officials of the institution per sisted in giving credit, both .by; display and placard, to the plana developed by Samuel P. Langley, who as director and secretary of the organization spent around $70,000 in an attempt to construct a successful plane. The plane never flew and, on several launching at tempts at a Potomac river site, only succeeded in falling into the water. Glenn Curtlss, himself much Interested in proving that the Lang-ley plane would fly for reasons of his own, secured permission to take th ship from the institute where it was on display and after several important alterations, based upon principles established by the Wright plane, succeeded in flying the ship in short hops of less than five seconds at Lake Keuka, Ham- mondsport, N. Y- in May and June, 1914. Belated Recognition 1 AFTER REPEATED.efforts wera made by others to gain for tha Wrights the recognition due them, the institution refused to listen. However in-1923, Orville, after re ceiving many requests from tha Science Museum at South KejArg-ton, London, decided to ser.i'F tha first plane, which up until that time had been stored at a spot where it was subject to fire haz ards, to England. At that time, however, he de- . cided to wait still longer and in ; 1925 proposed that, the argu-H ments be settled through the in- j vestigation of an impartial com- i mittce. But the suggestion was ignored. He even appealed to Chief Jus- tic William Howard Tafb. as chancellor of the institution, for an impartial hearing, but Taft de clared that his position was purely titular and that he was in no posi tion nor did he have the time to give attention to the question. Finally, after further efforts, ha sent the machine to South Kensington, with the stipulation that the plane should stay there for not less than five years, and permanently unless brought back to tha United States within his lifetime. The controversy raged dowa through the years until in Octo j ber, 1943, Dr. Charles G. Abbott I head of the institution, acknowl- ! edged without reservation that j the Wright plane made the first flight and formally tendered ! apologies to Orville for the mis- ' I ;ading statements made by other Smithsonian officials. Orville accepted the anolorv and then on the 41st anniversary of the first flight at the annual Wright Brothers lecture in Washington, sponsored by the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, disclosed that the plane then in a secret value due to the bombmes in Eng land would be brought back to the United Mates followiner the war snd placed in the Smithsonian Institution. . Soeieties and Honors 1 ORVILLE WRIGHT was a mem- honors cannot be too numerous for Private Flying the great pioneer." First Davton Flight THE YEAR 1910 saw the first flight over . the city of Dayton, with Orville at the controls. Prior to that, all flights in this vicinity had been made from Huffman Field. The flight was made in con nection with an industrial exhibit sponsored by the Greater Dayton association, held in September. He was asked and did fly the plane from Simms Station and circle ever the city. It was shortly after that he for sook' the flying end of the airplans business and devoted his time mainly to the supervision of en gineering at the Wright Co. factory, although in October, 1911, he went to Kitty Hawk for several weeks to do some experimenting with an automatic control device and to make some soaring flights in a glider. At Kitty Hawk he never succeeded in testing the device, but before his soaring experiments were over, on Oct. 14, he made a new record, soaring for nine-minutes and 45 seconds. This record remained as tops for 10 years when it was exceeded in Ger- . many. In the next year. 1912. the broth ers purchased a 17-acre tract of land in Oakwood, naming it Hawthorn Hill and there built a new home. It was in May, 1912, that Wilbur contracted typhoid fever IN HIS LATER years Orville was amazed and received a great deal of pleasure from the observation of how his and Wilbur's brain child the airplane had come to be popularized by the average man. On the 40th anniversary of flight he admitted that he had thought tne airplane would merely open a new field for sportsmen: "We thought it would become popular, of course, but only as a sort of plaything for the more well-to-do." I he tremendous advance in civilian flying he attributed to the tremendous increase in the buying capacity of the general public. Possibly one of the greatest com pliments paid Orville was given on Dec. 7, 1947, by two private fivers George Truman and Clifford Evans who stopped in Dayton on a final leg of their round-the- world flight in two light planes. Orville greeted the flyers at his Oakwood home. In the course of the conversation he remarked: "Well, you surely had nerve to attempt this trip." "Look who's talking about nerve," said Evans. One detail more than any other, caused him sorrow In the invention of- the first successful airplane. That was its application to war. His sorrow was tempered only by the thought that through the war the airplane was made safer through far-reaching ber of the following societies, organizations and clubs: Aeronautical Society of Great Britain; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Aeronautical society oi America; governor at large of the National Aeronautic association; Institute of Aeronautical Sciences; Franklin Institute: honorary fellow of the Royal Aeronautical society; National Academy of Sciences; American Society for the Advancement of Science; Society of Automotive Engineers; Aeronautical Chatnber of Commerce; Engineers club of Dayton, and Aeronautical Club of Great Britain. In addition he was director of thr Wright Aeronautical Laboratory at Dayton; vice president of tha National Museum of Engineering and Industry; a member of the National Advisory Committ fnr Aeronautics; member of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, and chairman of the advisory committee, Daniel Guggenheim School of Aero nautics, at New York university. At the time of his death ha held the following awards: Collier Trophy for the development of the automatic stabilizer 1913: Aero Club of Franc Rnlrf Medal, 190R; Aero Club of United Kingdom Medal. 1908: Aero So ciety of Great Britain Medal, 1908; Congress of the United States Medal 1909; Cross of Officer of Legion of Honor, France, 1924; International Peace Society Bronze Medal, and Washington Award, 1927; Distinguished Flying Cross, 1929; Daniel Guggenheim Medal, 1930; Franklin Medal, 1933. Orville Wright's "Most Embarrassing Moment" Was Provided By Jesse Jones It's doubtful that Onille Wright! him aside and told him that Jones I most embarrassing moments of his I story of an early Pierce Arrow ver forgave Jesse Jones one-; was expecting him to make a short, life. which came e a u l n n e d with air time member of FDR's cabinet talk which was to be broadcast, for his part played in connection ; Orville at once got in touch with with ceremonies commemorating; Jones and told him that if he per springs. Many Daytonians will re- THE BACK INJURY suffered ; member the car which had four !by Orville Wright in the crash of the 40th anniversary of the first j sisted in expecting him to speak the firgt miliUry plane purchased ne "uuiuii i even oiteiiu mo uili- hv tha ITn tort Ktntoa anil vh rh ner. Jones again agreed and kined Lt Selfridge, plagued him for the remainder of his days. flieht Orville was asked to attend the 40th anniversary dinner in Wash ington, D. C, where he was to cresent the Collier Trophy that vear awarded to the Army Air j orc-i to Gen. Hap Arnold, then chief of the AAF. Jones was in charge of arrangements for the affair and asked Orville to say a few words in presenting the trophy to Gen. Arnold. Since he was noted for not making any type of public utterances, Mr. Wright refused. Jones concurred in this and Orville went to Washington thinking everything was all right However, Just prior to the meeting, a friend of Mr. Wright'called i Orville went into the meeting thinking it was all settled. Then at the time came for the trophy presentation, the toastmaster turned to Orville and asked him to say a few words in making the award. Thoe who listened to the broad cast that night will remember j the hui-h that feil over the i meeting the absolute oilenre, j Finally an annoonrer broke in J with the words that Mr. Wright had handed the trophy to Gen. j Arnold, shook his hand, and had sat down. To Mr. Y.'riifht it was one of the i Since that time Orville hated to travel. The vibration of aircraft in flight troubled him no end. Rail travel was just as bad. He usually tried to get a compartment in the middle of the train and then lay down, remaining in bed until the end of the trip. Traveling in this way his hack didn't trouble him quite so much. Automobile travel also bothered Mr. Wright but special springing oVsigns made it possible for'him to rely rn the auto for his main mpans of transportation. He always liked to recount the! hydraulic bottles mounted over the wheels. When Orville first received the car he found the springs were too soft. This he changed by cutting off the tops of the air bottles and replacing them with slightly larger tops. Then to avoid the side-to-side swaying of the car he affixed a pendulum arrangement to the springs. When the Ijody of the car swayed to one side the pendulum arrangement shut a valve which stopped the swaying tendency. Most all of the inventor's cars had some sort of special springing which made for easy riding, though the Pierce Arrow was the only one equipped with the air springs. ONE OF THE STORIES which Orville liked to tell on he and his brother had its locale in the Huffman pasture east of Dayton where many of their early experimental flights were made. Each day for some time a somberly-clad gentleman would ride out to the pasture in his horse and wagon and sit on the road along the field, waiting for the Wrights to attempt a flight As the weather at that time was rather bad the plane was kept in its hangar and no flights were made. Finally the man's patience gave out and he made no further appearances. To Orville the joke'' came in J when he was told that the wagon in which the interested observer rode was a hearse. He was a local undertaker w ho had an eye for business and evidently thought that anyone fool enough to play around with "flying machines" was sure tobe killed. ORVILLE WRIGHT had a great respect for books but he always thought that some persons placed too much faith in the printed word. And he had good reason to think in that vein. One instance in particular points up the story. Not too long after the first fligrht though other models had been built Orville received a request from a man interested in setting up an aeronautical museum. The man asked for an early glider and one of the early powered models. Orville provided both. Some time afterward he received a letter from the man lniorming him that the planes had been set up and inviting Wrijrht to drop in when he was in the vicinity to look over the exhibit Not until a few years had elapsed was Orville able to take advantage of the invitation. But one day he dropped in. "I couldn't even recognize the planes," he said. "They were cut down, cut up, and changed until there was no resemblance at all to the original." It turned out that the mechanic a specialist employed to set up the planes had a book which gave the dimensions of the Wrights'J gliders and powered pla.ies. Basing his work on the book, whenever he came to a piece that didn't measure up to the printed word, he changed it to conform. Orville Wright believed that aeronautical engineers always tried to get a better looking, rather than a practical airplane. At one time he cited an Instance which occurred at old McCook Field. Seversky, an aircraft inventor and designer had a new ship which was belnar considered by the AAF. Engineers at the field asked him to come out and look it over. Before he saw the plana some of the engineers tried ta prepare him by saying they weren't too "sold" on the design. The thought It was too rough in finish, "Of course it was rough, but it looked like a very good design and had good potentialities," Orvilla. said. i "That was the trouble with the engineers, and it still is to some extent. They like to hava a lot of fancy trimmings and a great assortment of instruments. If the plane was too heavT be- caime of the trimmings, 6t if ! some of the instruments didn't 1 actually perform a needed func- I tinn, that was beside the point 1 Their main objective seemed to ! be getting a pretty and compli- j cated plane, rather than a func- I tional one." J

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