Talk:Wright brothers/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3


I don't really get this quotes section. What's up with the Quotes section? While Amos Root did witness one of the Wright Brothers' first flights from Huffman Prairie, the quote included in the article is not about the Wright Brothers or any of their achievements, but about flight in general. It should probably be moved to Amos Root. DES (talk) 09:05, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree with DES; this article is long as it is, and this single quote does not add to the knowledge or understanding of the topic. I'm removing it. Candent shlimazel (talk) 23:02, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
this article is as long as it is(and should be) cause it's about two very important men and their world changing event & invention. Their invention dictates our lives today. Articles about less important subjects (IMHO) such as Elvis Presley or Charles Manson are WAY OVERLY LONG. But also those two men are important to history in their own way. Koplimek (talk) 21:02, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Regardless, quotes are not proper captions, and do not belong in the infobox. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 18:36, 10 March 2009 (UTC).
Strictly speaking, you might be right, though I think the captions guideline may be sufficiently lenient to allow it. They are not really intended as "captions," per se; the caption field simply offers an easy way to add them. I say this, of course, as the guy who originally put in the quotes when I created the Infoboxes (although Wilbur's quote got changed). My purpose was to somewhat "humanize" the fellows without lapsing into unencyclopedic informality. Another way to handle it--if at all--would be to put the quotes in boxed or in-margin "call-outs" with big quote marks, but that might be a bit of overkill. Using the Infoboxes seemed like a readily visible yet low-key way of getting the job. DonFB (talk) 02:26, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Quotes are fine, just not in the infobox. Find another place to put them. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 02:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC).
Absent an apparent community concensus that Infobox quotes violate a fundamental Wikipedia principle, I am comfortable leaving them alone. You are, of course, free to revert the reinstatement of the quotes. DonFB (talk) 03:28, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
There are definitive rules about the use of infoboxes and captions. (See: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (infoboxes) and Wikipedia:Captions) You have not called for a consensus ruling, which would likely result in a protracted discussion and probably inevitable decision in favour of keeping infoboxes for their primary purpose. I have already changed the location of the quotes once and been reverted. As I have no abiding interest in forcing a point (WP:POINTY) and an edit war is to no one's benefit, I simply ask you to consider another place for the quotes (perhaps with some attribution added as is usual in establishing a quotation's relevance). Thanks for the talk, I will leave it to you to decide how to proceed. FWiW , just 'cause things are "pretty" should not be a consideration – "my precious..." quoting Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Bzuk (talk) 04:12, 11 March 2009 (UTC).

Santos Dumont

That is really stupid to say that the Wright brothers were the first to build the first airplane. It is known that the first man to fly with an airplane without any help was Santos Dumont. He built the first airplane that could fly without a catapulta, meaning that he was the first man to build an airplane that really could fly. But North Americans doesn't want to lose their status as the first builders of such as important descovered. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:09, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Please note that the article says the Wrights invented the first "successful" airplane. It is true that the 14-bis of Santos-Dumont had a more powerful engine and did not use a catapult or a headwind. It is also true that the 14-bis could not make a controlled turn, or fly a circle, and did not stay in the air more than 25 seconds. In contrast, in 1904 the Wright Flyer flew circles lasting five minutes and by 1905 the Flyer flew circles exceeding a half hour under full control, proof the airplane "really could fly". Before the Santos-Dumont flights of 1906, the Wrights had already solved the problem of controlled, powered, winged flight and had built and flown airplanes which demonstrated the solution. The flights of Santos, though not the first, were very important because they were completely public and encouraged other people in Europe to start flying experiments. DonFB (talk) 20:17, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunatelly, the so-claimed "first fly" of Wright brothers is not well documented, thus one can not prove they were first! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:40, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Fortunately their flights, including 12/17/1903, are very well-documented with photographs, personal diaries, notebooks and eyewitnesses. A little research online at the U.S. Library of Congress or the Smithsonian Institution, or reading of any of dozens of Wright biographies and early aviation books is all one needs to do, if it's not too much trouble. See footnotes, bibliography and external references for rich documentation in the Wright brothers article in Wikipedia, this very website. DonFB 05:29, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Fortunately, Santos-Dumont flights (ALL of them) are very well documented with photos and a cinematographic record, along with hundreds of people and expert eyewitnesses. A research at U.S. Library of Congress and, specially, the Smithsonian Institution ("...Due to the legal patent battles then taking place, recognition of the 'first' aircraft became a political as well as an academic issue..." - see all the sordid story in, is all one needs to do in order to became highly outraged and disgusted by so many biased and "patriotic" propaganda.RobertoRMola (talk) 19:49, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

You're quite right; there was much controversy between Wright and the Smithsonian many decades ago. The Smithsonian reversed its position many years ago, recognizing the truth of the Wright achievements, which, as pointed out, are well-documented. Santos' airplane achievements, which occurred years after successful Wright flights, are not doubted; they too are well-documented. Where is the bias or propaganda? DonFB 21:08, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
It is not surprising that Smithsonian or other U.S. articles would be patriotic regarding the Wright Brothers. I suppose from your statement that, in contrast, Brazilian articles about Santos-Dumont are never patriotic. DonFB 03:09, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Attitude. That's a matter of attitude from WBs. All of them. If you (can) examine with exemption, all the secrecy and controverted acts by WBs will sound weird, at least. Patriotism in Brazil refers to an undoubted achievement by a Brazilian citizen. "Patriotism" in USA - really, not surprinsingly - seems to be a tacit acceptance of one or more alleged acts that can never be attested, certified or warranted in a court room by complete absence of proofs. Here is the bias on the subject, if you can see it. Sorry, DonFB, I will never accept WBs acts tacitly, even reading Wikipedia's semi or fully protected articles, unless somebody brings to surface new evidences that was hidden from public knowledge all this years and with same force as Santos-Dumont's. I completely agree that all experimentation conducted by WBs on all stages of research were fascinating and invaluable for aviation, specially the great amount of glider flight time WBs amassed. Such experience paved the way for their famous and splendid pilotage habilities (The poor qualities of WBs flying machines demanded that). I've already expressed my opinion some time ago to the gentlemen at (former that a perfect combination would be Orville flying 14-Bis! That´s only a dream, but the heavier-than-air flight experience of WBs on a much superior flying machine as 14-Bis was could be fantastic, including turns that allegedly couldn´t be executed on Santos-Dumont plane (sorry again: everything on Flyer was a no go - specially its engine - as evidenced by several scientific evaluations and reenactment trials).RobertoRMola (talk) 16:10, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

You speak of "alleged acts". Is it your considered opinion that the Wright Brothers did not fly airplanes in 1903, 1904 and 1905? If so, do you have evidence? Is it your belief that Wright Brothers' photographs, diaries, letters and notebooks in the U.S. Library of Congress and in the Wright State University library and statements by eyewitnesses are forgeries? Do you have evidence to challenge those materials? You apparently believe in the Wright glider flights, which have the same documentation, but not the Wright airplane flights. Is there a reason? Do you believe U.S. astronauts landed on the moon? No spectators or French Aero Club members were waiting on the lunar surface as witnesses. Do you believe that highly accomplished Wright flights of 1908 were based only on glider flights which ended in 1902, and not on dozens of powered flights of 1903-1905? Are you aware that your arguments are the same ones people used in 1906-1907 when the world lacked evidence of Wright success, which is now available with a few clicks of a computer mouse and in dozens of well-researched books, not all of them by "North Americans"? By what logic do you believe that the 14-bis, an airplane with extreme dihedral and without effective lateral control, built by a pilot without knowledge or experience of fixed-winged lateral control who flew it in a straight line a maximum of less than 30 seconds, is "much superior" to another airplane, the 1905 Wright Flyer, with aerodynamically optimized wings and propellers and effective three-axis control, that flew in circles 38 minutes, despite a much less powerful engine? You are free to "never accept WBs acts," but I conclude that something other than historical fact and logic supports your ideas. If you ever do find credible evidence supporting your position, be sure to let the community know. We are both in violation of the Wikipedia guideline that this space is for discussing the article, not the subject. DonFB 22:38, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I will repeat: If somebody brings to surface new evidences that was hidden from public knowledge all this years and with same force as Santos-Dumont's I'm going to review my positions. Regarding your questions "Is it your considered opinion that the Wright Brothers did not fly airplanes in 1903, 1904 and 1905?" Answer: I don't know and I don't believe (in such flights). "If so, do you have evidence?" Answer: Who needs to provide an evidence? (Evidence of a negative action?! There's no such thing!) I am requesting a positive evidence because I got none. Repeating: I'll review my positions with fresh evidences (of positive actions, i.e. the real flights). Statements (including from the authors) are legal proofs? Witnesses were considered reliable? I believe in WB glider flights because they can be reproduced in replicas, but glider flights are older than powered ones, including Lilienthal 2000+ flights in the 1891-96 period. A simple combustion engine installation on a glider do not prove anything. If so, I could install a .49 cu. in. glow engine outside on a Schweizer glider and call it a powered aircraft! Talking about gliders, why they filled a patent for a glider (and not for control systems) in 1905, if they already (allegedly) had flown with a powered machine in 1903? All further dicussions would end and business grow with a patent for a powered aircraft. I have no reasons to doubt the afore mentioned institutions of so glorious and respectable prestige... and no reasons to believe, also. From the "clicks" on my PC mouse I can gather a lot of information, most of them pure garbage. From the "well-researched books" I can gather a lot of opinions from the authors but never an unquestionable proof. Not even from the Brazilian authors. It's simply, IMHO, impossible to gather any extra data about Wright Bros. experiences because everything was so well "maintained in secrecy" at that time nobody can provide substantiate evidences nowadays. Weird, weird, weird. That's the classification I give to Mrs. Orville and Wilbur Wright behaviour. Why so many secrecy if all the pioneer researchers from that time (and before) never considered such privacy an issue? Only non-weird acts from WBs were the aggressive trials to market their machine in different occasions in different places (with low or nule success): that´s part of entrepreneurism that pushes the advance in several areas of science. But this is not a proof of WBs machine superiority or primacy, but business sagacity and astuteness to sell something not yet experimented or verified (as all prospect buyers argumented). The question about flying qualities of Flyer vs 14-Bis is closed for me: well constructed replicas (at both sides) speak for themselves. But what is ended for me is such discussion: we'll never agree on the theme, I'm sure...PS.: I don't know why you asked if I believe US astronauts landed on the moon, when all spectators (myself) and French Aero Club members were watching on TV! That was a really fantastic achievement by US astronauts and NASA, but no relation to the Wrights theme.RobertoRMola (talk) 18:03, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Roberto. I'm glad this discussion is ended for you. It will save my time in the future. DonFB 19:18, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

I thank you for give me the opportunity to express all my opinions, but I'm not giving up. I was just pointing the always forgotten sordid stuffs about WBs, but never had any hope to see you changing minds. But I'm sure that was an honourable rivalry between two respectable contenders!RobertoRMola (talk) 19:07, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

  • That's interesting that Fédération aéronautique internationale was not founded in 1903, neither 1904, neither 1905. It was founded in 14 october 1905, and the second flight Wright Brothers claim was done in 5 october 1905. How could they certify an event occured before their foundation?--Eduardoferreira (talk) 16:17, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Incontrovertible evidence exists, including photographs (which anyone can now see with a few mouse clicks) and voluminous written documentation (also viewable today online). The Wrights reported their achievements to the public in January 1904 and March 1906 and proved their abilities to the Fédération and the public in 1908. Their Oct. 5, 1905 flight was approximately their 150th, not their 2nd, and was reported the next day in a Dayton, Ohio newspaper. Vast numbers of accepted historic events occurred in private or without being filmed or even photographed (eg: the Napoleonic Wars, the invention of beer, the discovery of America, the sinking of Titanic, the invention of the printing press, the assassination of Julius Caesar, the invention of the hamburger, etc.). Of course, as you may be aware, some much newer historic events that are overwhelmingly documented in video, audio and writing and attested by living people—like manned moon landings and the 9-11 attacks—are still disbelieved by certain people. Go figure. DonFB 18:46, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Why dont mention in the article the date that FIA was founded and the date which they validated the first fly? So, the reader will know that the alleged first fly was done before the foundation of the FIA. It is important.-- Eduardoferreira (talk)
If you believe this is important to the article, perhaps you could do that research. DonFB (talk) 04:30, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

The date of validation of the Wright's Brothers flight: Oct. 5, 1905

The date of creation of FIA: Oct. 14, 1905 fr:Fédération aéronautique internationale.--Ferreiratalk 02:45, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Eduardo, Don has already mentioned two great sources for validation of the Wrights flights, the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress(specifically "Wilbur and Orville Wright Timeline 1867-1948"). On the latter site you will find digitized newspaper articles that are dated and from the actual years the brothers experimented. Incredible stuff. Be sure to set aside some time because there's a lot of material and it should set the matter at rest for you once & for all. As far as Roberto's argument, I saw the letter he wrote in to one of the aviation websites and they dismantled Roberto's argument about Santos being first. I even laughed when they explained to Roberto and made the comparison of Santos uncontrolled hop to Clement Ader's uncontrolled hop of 1890 in his Eole and that the Brazilians conveniently ignore Ader's hop to stratify the Santos argument. People just need to read, study, interpret the times that a complex invention like the airplane came about. The great aviation writer, the late Charles H. Gibbs-Smith perhaps said it best, "When the Wrights entered aviation in 1899 European aviation was at a standstill after the death of Lilienthal. By 1905 virtually every Euro machine was 'du type de Wright'." Meaning everyone was copying the Wrights designs. Koplimek (talk) 14:15, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Is it true that Archdeacon invited Wright Brothers to participate in Deutsch-Archdeacon Prize in 1906? And that the Wright Brothers did not wanted a public flight? They did the first public flight in 1908, right? this and this.--Ferreiratalk 20:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Koplimek, I never felt "dismantled", specially when First-to-fly site gentlemen cited Ader feats. I also laughed when they did it, because it is a fact that the French War Ministery (Ader was being sponsored by them) denied ALL allegations Clement Ader made regarding his supposed "flight" (he did it, conveniently, after SD achievement). At that time I argued about what they were trying to prove: Ader did it BEFORE WBs or what? I even sent to the same gentlemen an answer to these and other fantastic allegations, specially that one concerning Santos-Dumont copy of Wrights machine (???!!!). Obviously they NEVER responded simply because it´s all about a NGO managed site (power) versus a simple citizen without any kind of sponsorship, website or govern support (NO, NO power!) that dared to point his finger to several critical points on Mr. Wilbur and Mr. Orville story about their "accomplishments". It is as simple as 1-2-3: Santos-Dumont did it after hundreds of people in public space. HOP? Flight? I don´t care! It was made on straight line (controlled) and avoiding people at the ground (controlled). What WBs did on Dec/1903? Nobody knows cause nobody saw anything. Period. Please do not cite Smithsonian or Library of Congress to me or anyone else. Cite an unbiased evidence (refer to a lawyer: he/she will explain what is this...), not a sacred one. DonFB says it's about "an interesting phenomenon" what happens in Brazil. It could well be called a "flying truth", also. People here in Brazil used to say "a flea behind the ear" (uma pulga atrás da orelha): a popular saying used when someone counts a too hard to believe story (and the listener scratches behind the ear, thence the flea...), a kind of "sixth sense" every Brazilian has every time propaganda from White House, Pentagon, Library of Congress and - specially and very importantly - Smithsonian boasts WBs hidden accomplishments. RobertoRMola (talk) 22:23, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

"Interesting phenomenon" is not about doubting Santos' flying achievements; it is a general thought about Brazilians' attitudes on this whole subject. However, the sophomoric and empty claim that an important chapter in American history is really just a vast "propaganda" conspiracy will not carry your argument very far nor dispel lingering belief that such anti-Wright screed is simply an expression of anti-Americanism; the claim also reveals a mindset essentially identical to the idiot conspiracy theories of a small group of foolish, irrational and deeply ignorant people who disbelieve the U.S. manned moon landings. DonFB (talk) 05:54, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

"a mindset essentially identical to the idiot conspiracy theories of a small group of foolish, irrational and deeply ignorant people" Hey, c'mon. Take it easy, OK. I'm just exposing arguments and defending my points of view. Essentially, it's all about your belief in Wrights Brothers and my disbelief on them. Period.RobertoRMola (talk) 22:13, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Essentially, it's about slandering well-respected U.S. institutions of learning and science (including NASA, which has published many documents and webpages about the Wright Brothers, although you seem to accept the moon landings as legitimate—a feat much easier to disbelieve than a few dozen airplane flights), and the Brothers themselves, with zero evidence (because none exists) to back up such a sweeping denial. This is a debate about no one's "belief" but your own; the issue is a matter of historical fact. I do truly wonder if you've made the effort to read the article here—or any sources other than Brazilian articles by people like Bento Mattos—and view the photos, diary and logbook images, which are a small sample of the total (you can see them all with a few—many, actually—mouse clicks and clicks).Most Santos partisans accept the Brothers' work, but interpret it, against all logic (or due to very poor knowledge of the actual accomplishments), as inferior to Santos' 1906 achievements. A smaller fringe of Santos extremists finds it more convenient to dispense with strained legalistic arguments about the manner of takeoff and the presence or absence of official witnesses and just deny what the Brothers did, which of course is a simpler—and simple-minded—argument. It is an argument that made perfectly good sense between 1906 and 1908, or today, to members of the Flat Earth Society. DonFB (talk) 08:36, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
I had to check the date in the edit history to make sure that some time warp hadn't taken place and it was April 1 again. Once that was resolved, a check was made as to the date and sure enough it was 2009. There are still non-believers for every cause, event, but I am glad to hear that the moon landing isn't suspect – wheew!? FWiW, the Wrights did have witnesses and photographic evidence of their flights. The Wright Flyers were marginal performers but were certainly adequate for the job. Bzuk (talk) 23:55, 18 July 2009 (UTC).

Yep! I'm not living in the past. Thanks to confirm date for me. Eagerly waiting for the other confirmations. RobertoRMola (talk) 00:23, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

No problem, like to keep up with the times. BTW, the 2003 Wright Flyer simulator that was carted out to Oshkosh that year proved extremely difficult to fly. Seasoned and highly experienced pilots crashed constantly. The flight controls were extremely sensitive and there was a very narrow flight envelope that encapsulated the tremendous feat it was to fly any of the early aircraft. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 01:16, 19 July 2009 (UTC).

American revisionism

The first fly was made the 9 october 1890 by Clement Ader, a very little fly, few meters, about fifty or seventy. The third was homologued by french army in 14 october 1897 as attest the archives published in 1980 (end of the military secret). The first areoplanes were build by Ader, the Eole in 1890, the Zephyr in 1891 and the Aquilon in 1897. It is important to explain the circonstances of the war between France and German Empire to let understand why emerge a such invention.

Santos Dumont, and the public too, believed sincerely for a longtime, he was the first. The Wright Brothers did the first fly with a controlled direction, not very controlled but much more than in the Ader's "avions".

I'm surprise, the article don't tell the true story. Is the reference to Nasa or Smithsonian very inteligent for a matter concerning the french army ? I don't read chinese, but I'm sure, the Wikipedia chinese version said the first fly was chinese. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:54, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Try reading the article, it is very specific. It does NOT say that the Wright Bros. were the first to experiment with flying machines. It also does not say that they were the first to get off the ground. What is does say is this: "The Wright brothers... were two Americans who are generally credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903". Clement Ader made an *uncontrolled* flight (by his own admission) that was very short. Clement Ader never made a *controlled* flight, with any of his inventions (naming a lot of them won't make that true). What the Wright Brothers did was make a *controlled* flight, under power, sustained, heavier-than-air, with humans. They were the first to make a *controlled* flight, in 1903, a full three years before Dumont's certified flight with the Aéro Club de France. In 1903 NO ONE ELSE (besides the Wright Brothers) could make controlled, powered flight. When they demonstrated their invention - in France I might add - in 1908, Santos aircraft was making (ho hum) 200 m flights (with a Wright engine, no less). Meanwhile, Wilbur had numerous public flights in France, doing banking turns, circles and figure 8's and amazed the crowd with his skill as a pilot and his excellent control and even took passengers, including women, on the flights. And yes, it was very "controlled". By the way, the men you mention, people such as Ader and Santos-Dumont received government funding for their efforts, the Wright Brothers received NONE, they were totally self-funded. The end. Not a "revision", simply the truth. Next time, try reading... it helps. Supertheman (talk) 19:08, 10 July 2010 (UTC)


Doods. One mistake. They moved TO Indiana FROM Ohio. Just pointin that out. Who cares? They're still awesome.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Losers11 (talkcontribs) 04:38, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Your source? Since their shop was in Dayton, I'm not sure how that works. AKRadeckiSpeaketh 02:04, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
In the 1860s the family lived in Indiana. In 1869 they moved to Dayton. In 1877 or '78 they moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1881 they moved to Richmond, Indiana. In 1884 they moved back to Dayton and stayed there. See authors Howard and Crouch. DonFB (talk) 09:09, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

It has been proved that Richard pearce from New Zealand conducted the first powered flight 9 months before the wright brothers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:39, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Proved? Your source? AKRadeckiSpeaketh 18:49, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
First of all, his name is Richard Pearse (not Pearce). Secondly, Pearse never claimed to make a manned, powered, heavier-than-air, *controlled* flight. His flight was uncontrolled (even by admission of his New Zealand proponents). The Wright Brothers were the first to make a manned, heavier-than-air, powered, *controlled* flight, and they always will be, despite revisionists trying to change that. Get to know the Wright Brothers, their contributions go WAY beyond simply the first manned, heavier-than-air, powered, controlled flight. They basically invented the three-axis control system, controls that are now standard on most aircraft. Instead of trying to prop up other inventors (some of whom were remarkable and contributed much) as the first to make a manned, heavier-than-air, powered, controlled flight, get to know the Wright Brothers. These men, with very little money, did amazing things and contributed lasting innovations to manned flight. Most other inventors working on manned flight at the time, had government funding (including some in the U.S.), while the Wright Brothers did their work with their own private money (their family wasn't rich, their father was a preacher) made from their bicycle repair and sales business.Supertheman (talk) 00:00, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Featured Article

Why isn't this a Featured Article? This is the most well written, interesting, touching article I have ever read on wikipedia. Aepryus (talk) 04:57, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, I would nominate it if I knew how.... Jonverve (talk) 06:02, 1 May 2009 (UTC)
One of these days I'll nominate it, if someone else hasn't, since I've made big contributions to it in the last couple of years(!), raising it to GA status. Very glad to read comments like these, though I can see a million things (well, quite a few anyway) that can be (justifiably) suggested/nitpicked when it goes under review. Just trying to work up the energy to tackle those issues (almost none of which involve competing claims, although a nomination might stir up that hornet's nest again). DonFB 08:24, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. This entry deserves featured article status. I have initiated the peer review.ShelbyBell (talk) 16:36, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

GA Sweep

I have reviewed this article, and have found it to still meet the criteria, so I have updated the oldid. If I needed to change the date, the review was on 17:14, Wednesday October 18, 2017 (UTC)--Unionhawk Talk 14:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

New disambig hatnote

A user added a hatnote for disambiguation to the Wright Brothers Band, an obscure act that hasn't recorded in 20 years. In my opinion, this doesn't belong here because I think it is unlikely that anyone will end up in this article while looking for the musical act. --rogerd (talk) 14:36, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree, especially given the band's slight notability, as pointed out. DonFB (talk) 17:43, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I also agree. Please delete the disambiguation reference to the band. Any ancillary reference to the Wright Brothers is clearly derivative. (talk) 02:32, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Controversy vis-à-vis Santos Dumont

It would be difficult for me to object to a lot of the text in the section "Controversy vis-à-vis Santos Dumont," because I wrote a lot of it. I wrote it to overcome obvious anti-Wright POV in that section in earlier versions of the Santos Dumont article, from where the section was lifted bodily and transplanted into Wright Brothers. The section, however, does not add any notable information about the Wright Brothers, who are the focus of this article. The doubts and skepticism about the Wrights in their own time, and their secrecy, are already mentioned in the Wright Brothers article. In addition, the article refers readers twice to another article, "First Flying Machine," which lists the claims and achievements of many other aviation pioneers, one of whom was Santos Dumont. The Controversy section simply expresses ideas and feelings that originated in Brazil in 1908 and have been perpetuated in that country in the 100 years since. That's an interesting phenomenon and is thus appropriate in the Santos Dumont article. It is pointless, however, to copy and paste that long section, to the exclusion of all other controversies, into this article Doing so also makes this article, which is already quite long, much longer than it should be. For these reasons, I removed the section. May it live happily ever after in its own article. DonFB (talk) 16:44, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Don, I was reluctant to be WP:BOLD and actually fixed some of the revision in terms of editing grammar, syntax, etc. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 18:18, 17 July 2009 (UTC).
I agree with deleting it. Maybe it belongs in the Santos section? It's always been a minor controversy anyway albeit perpetuated by some Brazilians expressing pride. Nothing wrong with that except one has to know history in it's full chronological context. Perhaps some of those people have learned the REAL truth about who flew first. That's a good thing. Koplimek (talk) 22:17, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

sup —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:58, 9 November 2009 (UTC)


I removed the sentence about Federation Aeronatique International giving them credit for first flight. FAI seems to informally recognize the flight, as indicated in the article posted on an FAI webpage, but apparently not written by the FAI itself. I have a private email from FAI in response to my question to them. They wrote back (in June 2009): "The flight of the Wright Brothers has been considered a historical event but never has been given an official "grade" by the FAI."DonFB (talk) 16:36, 30 December 2009 (UTC)


see: It is Traian Vuia who flew for the first time a heavier than air plane, but coming from a small country, the community was driven towards the Wright Brothers. More than this Traian Vuia also made the first steps towards the Helicopter. Someone with edit rights, at least now, after 100 years, please right and not 'wright'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Maryhit (talkcontribs) 20:40, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

When they flew

All the photos showing Wright Brothers flying using a machine and propelers were taken after 1908. Their first motorized fly was in France in 1908. Before that, they only glided. It is clear in the interview gave by "Alpheus Drinkwater" in 1951. Alpheus was the man who sent the telegram and he was present in all the gliding demonstrations.

Sincerelly, if you want to make an democratic news, you should only describe the facts that are: 1- Few people were present at their "flights". 2- One of the testimonials "Alpheus Drinkwater" said in an interview that they only glided. 3- Using a 20hp machine they were unable to fly in France. They had to buy a french 50hp machine so they were able to take off. 4- All the photos and movies showing the brothers machine flying that uses a machine, were taken after 1908. 5- In 1906 they entered a patent request in England where all the drawing "don't have a machine". There is only a glider.

So, please, change this text and write an impartial text telling only the facts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alotito (talkcontribs) 19:06, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

The Drinkwater interview has been discussed before. Five men witnessed the flight of December 17, 1903; their names are given in the article. Drinkwater was not there; almost 50 years after the event, he was mistaken. If you know an authoritative source to support your claim that photos were taken "after 1908," and that the first motorized Wright flight was in France, please state it. For the truth, you may examine documents online at the U.S. Library of Congress, a world-respected institution of learning and research.
The Wrights did have a contract with a French manufacturer for a motor; this is well-known historic fact. If you read the Wikipedia article, you will learn more about the Wright patent and why it was important. If you know about authoritative sources which say Vuia flew first, you should state them. The Wikipedia article about Vuia does not make that statement. DonFB (talk) 09:13, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

The Wright Brother engine must have been a good one, because in 1909 Santos Dumont offered the Demoiselle No 19, his production plane with a choice of 3 engines, one of which was the Wright Brother engine, the Wright 4-cyl 30 hp.

Five people witnessed the flights including John T. Daniels who took the famous "first flight" photo using Orville's camera. These men were farmers, businessmen and members of the military (Coastguard). Are you calling these men "liars"? Drinkwater wasn't even THERE. There are (authenticated) photos of the Wright Brothers flying at both Kitty Hawk (in 1903) and Huffman Prairie (outside of Dayton in 1904). All of this has been authenticated, so your attempts at revision are yawn-worthy at best. Supertheman (talk) 00:47, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Marvellous article

One of the regrettable aspects of this site is that many articles have been over-edited by experts in their field so that the content has become too riddled with technical precision and jargon to be accessible to and comprehensible by the ordinary reader. This article, though, reads beautifully, and is entirely gripping throughout. I'd recommend it for nomination as an example of excellence in Wikipedia.

David Colver (talk) 11:39, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. I've followed this article for a while and it has been stronger in the past. Changes have been well intentioned and sometimes interesting, but not always an improvement. Such is the the nature of Wikipedia. Many people obviously have great interest in the Wright Brothers. Most Wikipedia articles have either "too many cooks in the kitchen" or not enough editorial scrutiny. However, for all the flaws of a free-market encyclopedia, it still beats a single editor deciding what we should know and what we don't need to know.

ShelbyBell (talk) 03:50, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

The Caesar what is Caesar's


I think for consistency and fairness you should include this text. People need to be informed and take their own conclusions and not accept a title given to two locusts brothers.they are ugly

"In addition to his pioneering work in airships, Santos Dumont made the first European public flight of an airplane on October 23, 1906. Designated 14-bis or Oiseau de proie (French for "bird of prey"), the flying machine was the first fixed-wing aircraft officially witnessed to take off, fly, and land. Santos Dumont is considered the "Father of Aviation" in his country of birth, Brazil.[2] His flight is the first to have been certified by the Aéro Club de France and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI)"

About Dumont:

"The aeronaut genial, indefatigable pioneer that fulfill their patriotic dream boy, competed with the birds and rose majestically into space like a real man-bird, calm as a winged god, after all, his dream was to "fly like birds and not jump like grasshoppers. "

Thank you.

A Brazilian. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 20 January 2010 (UTC) melanie made this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Dumont made the first European flight, that is noted in his article (and in the Wright Brothers article)... so what? Who cares who made the first "European" manned, heavier-than-air, powered, controlled flight? What matters is who made the FIRST manned, heavier-than-air, powered, controlled flight. The Wright Brothers were first. Your patriotism is admirable, but it doesn't change the facts. Dumont may be the "Father of Aviation" in your country, but to historians around the world, the Wright Brothers were the first to make a manned, heavier-than-air, powered, controlled flight... and they always will be. So, if you mean "Caesar" to be the first in flight, then render your praise to the Wright Brothers.
Thank you.
A Factarian Supertheman (talk) 00:08, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from MTiger, 24 Feb 2012

The caption of the picture of Chanute's glider doesn't address to the "Augustus Moore Herring" article when clicking in the Herring's name: "Chanute's hang glider of 1896. The pilot may be Augustus Herring." — Preceding unsigned comment added by MTiger (talkcontribs) 21:20, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request from MarcioVianna, 13 April 2010

{{editsemiprotected}} “(Later, when aviation pioneer, the Brazilian Santos-Dumont, flew his 14-bis in Paris in 1906, French newspapers dubbed the tail-first arrangement a "canard", because of the supposed resemblance to a duck in flight.)”

MarcioVianna (talk) 18:05, 13 April 2010 (UTC) [1]

 Done. I inserted the reference provided, thanks. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 18:36, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 29 August 2010

{{editsemiprotected}} In the section Ohio/North Carolina Rivalry, it should be noted that Wilbur was born in Indiana, and that the Brother's interest in aeronautics began while they lived in Iowa. "The Bishop's Boys" by Tom Crouch (talk) 11:00, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Question: Welcome. Could you provide the content you would like to add and more details about the source? Thanks, Celestra (talk) 20:11, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

The article says the brothers became interested in flying when they received the toy helicopter in 1878 (although it does not say where they lived at the time). The Infobox tells where Wilbur was born. Neither of these facts needs to be added to the Rivalry section. DonFB (talk) 03:31, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Splitting Article

How do people feel about potentially splitting the article up a little. The reason I ask is because there are two issues to cover here; the biographies of the brothers and the development of the flyer (and the subsequent events). The reason I think a split is a good idea is that part, such as "later years", feel tacked onto this article. In addition this article is already long.. but there is a rich body of detail that could still be added to the various sections :) I think Wright brothers is a sensible title for the article about the development of flight but I propose cutting out some of the biographical detail and creating Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright biographies. Any thoughts on this? --Errant (chat!) 10:18, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

There is a corresponding suggestion for the Mathias Rust article. HandsomeFella (talk) 20:19, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
I support such a split, for the reasons given. - BilCat (talk) 12:30, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the Later Years part is somewhat 'tacked on'. I could see a separate article focusing on Orville's life after Wilbur's death, but I don't think separate articles are needed for the biography of each brother; I don't think there is enough distinct information about each of them to justify that.
A separate article could be created for the brothers' work in the printing and newspaper business, and another article for their work in the bicycle business (a Wright Cycle Company article already exists and could be expanded.) The Glider and Patent War sections could be shortened, with some of their details moved to existing main articles about those subjects. Also, the In Business section might be shortened and details moved to the Wright Company main article. Another way of shortening the current article would be to eliminate the Ohio/North Carolina section; it's not especially relevant or useful. DonFB (talk) 23:08, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

"The Early History of the Airplane"

This short booklet (about 40 pages) should be added to the bibliography. It consists of a series of essays written by the Wright brothers themselves, including one by Orville recounting how they made their first flight. It is available at various places online, including the Gutenberg site:

and the Internet Archive: (talk) 10:58, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

First Commercial Cargo from Dayton to Columbus Ohio

Small correction to the name of the company in Columbus that instigated the first cargo flight that is discussed in the section about "Business". The name of the company is "Moorehouse Martens", with a "S" on the Martens. My wife, Charlotte Martens Reeves, is the granddaughter of Charles Martens, Co-owner of the store. Charlotte just donated, in April of 2011, two pieces of the silk that was carried on the flight, to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Hopefully, the silk will be on display soon in the Wright Brothers area. -- (talk) 13:50, 27 May 2011 (UTC)Robert L. Reeves

I believe the company name was "Morehouse Martens," see archives. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 14:06, 27 May 2011 (UTC).

Arguing an old case here?

Recently this edit was added: "The first fixed-wing aircraft: The 14-bis versus the Wright Flyers There is still controversy over whether the Wright 1903 Flyer I, or the 14-Bis was the first true airplane.

While the Wrights later used a launch catapult for their 1904 and 1905 machines, Santos-Dumont and other Europeans used wheels whereas the Wright Brothers persisted in the use of skids, which necessitated the use of a catapult in the absence of significant wind.

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, founded in France at the beginning of the century to keep track of aviation records and other aeronautical activities, stated among its rules that an aircraft should be able to take off under its own power in order to qualify for a record. Supporters of Santos-Dumont believe this meant the 14-bis was, technically, the first successful fixed-wing aircraft.

Most people who argue for Santos-Dumont's airplane being the more practical, and thus the first, cite a letter from Wilbur Wright to French Army Captain Ferdinand Ferber, part of which says:

We had already seen by the picture in the New York Herald that the plane rests on three wheels and we deduce from this that Mr. Santos Dumont, in order to effect his take-off, has first to make a run over a long level field. With the aid of the starting-off pillar that we use, Orville and I speedily go right up into the air in a much more practical fashion... We are sure to find a lot in our favor if we come to exhibit in France; but the voyage and the transportation of the machine and the pillar cost much more money than the two poor mechanics can afford to spend; also, dear Captain Ferber, if French experts, under your management, desire to come to Dayton, we will give them a demonstration of the machine in a neighboring field, flying for five minutes in a complete circle and let them have an option of the performance and release of the machine, for $50,000, cash down.

— W.W.


Opinions may vary on whether the Wright Flyer or the 14-bis was the more practical (and thus the "first") heavier-than-air flying machine. Both designs produced aircraft that made free, manned, powered flights. Which one was "first" or "more practical" is a matter of how those words are defined. No one could contest that the Wrights flew first or that Santos-Dumont took off on wheels before the Wrights and earned a variety of prizes and official records in France. Patriotic pride heavily influences opinions of the relative importance and practicality of each aircraft, thus causing debate. Americans prefer definitions that make the Wrights the "first" to fly, while Brazilians believe that Santos-Dumont had the first "real", practical aircraft, and that his nationality may have caused his accomplishments to not receive worldwide recognition.

Many other inventors could also claim the title to the first flying machine. From powered, heavier-than-air, but less-than-controllable aircraft, to gliders and balloons, a long series of "flying machines" separately achieved many of the individual criteria that are required of an "aircraft". These achievements, most of them first accomplished in the 1800s, include being able to sustain flight (albeit lighter-than-air flight), using thrust to move wings through the air so as to generate enough lift to rise off the ground (albeit not controllably), and creating a winged vehicle that can stay in the air for more than a few seconds and that can be controlled to turn, dive, climb, etc. (albeit only gliders that required a loss of altitude to "power" them). For example, Frederick Marriott's Avitor was a slightly-heavier-than-air dirigible that was fully controllable. It relied primarily on a large hydrogen gas bag for flight, but it had wings and could only get off the ground by moving forward so that the wings generated the additional lift needed to overcome its weight. Could such a hybrid be "the first heavier-than-air flying machine"? It is only one of many examples of a long history of flying contraptions, so this debate could easily be extended well beyond being about simply the 14-Bis versus the Wright Flyer.ref name="Avitor">"Avitor." Hiller Aviation Museum, 2007. Retrieved: November 14, 2010." Something this major needs to be discussed first. I see this as waaaay more appropriate to the Santos-Dumont article. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 19:34, 24 August 2011 (UTC).

Turns out this is a massive text dump from just that source. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 19:42, 24 August 2011 (UTC).

Both the Wright Brothers family home and bicycle shop set on the grounds of Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. Doughboys68 (talk) 10:22, 18 September 2011 (UTC)