First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane

By T. A. Heppenheimer | Go to book overview

SEVEM
RETURN TO DAYTON

IT WAS TIME TO PACK UP. The brothers had spent part of four years working at Kitty Hawk, but the cost and inconvenience were increasing, while the need for this remote location was at an end. They had come there initially, in 1900, because its winds and sand dunes were useful for gliding. Using the 1902 glider, they had continued to hone their skills as recently as the previous three months. Now, though, they had a powered airplane. It was important to fly it from level ground and in calm air; indeed, the gales of the Outer Banks had shown that they could destroy the Flyer as readily as they could help it rise from the track. They would continue their flights near Dayton.

They had left the 1902 glider in a shed a year earlier. Having no further need for it, they expected to abandon it once more, leaving it to the area's storms and torrential rains. The Flyer was another matter. Though damaged, it could be repaired and restored to use, perhaps to be modified so as to overcome the worrisome pitch problem. Hence it was worth repackaging in its crates for shipment home. This

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