The last obstacle to
powered flight was the propulsion system. The term propulsion
system is important. Wilbur and Orville recognized that
developing an effective propeller, and an efficient transmission
linkage to the power plant, was just as crucial as building
a suitable engine.
Charlie Taylor's tools
Seeking a power plant for their airplane, the Wrights contacted
many of the dozens of firms that by then were manufacturing
gasoline engines. Ten responded, but none could meet power
and weight requirements the Wrights specified, or could do
so at a reasonable price. Undeterred, the brothers decided
to build their own.