The Wrights formally expressed their desire to join the aeronautical community in a letter Wilbur wrote to the Smithsonian Institution on May 30, 1899. After affirming his belief that human flight was possible, he declared his intent to pursue research in the field. Toward that end, he requested whatever publications on the subject the Smithsonian could provide.
The Smithsonian Institution, Washington:
“I am an enthusiast, but not a crank in the sense that I have some pet theories as to the proper construction of a flying machine. I wish to avail myself of all that is already known and then if possible add my mite to help on the future worker who will attain final success.”