Who Were Wilbur and Orville?
1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905
1904
Huffman Prairie
The Breakthrough Concept
To enhance their opportunities to experiment and practice, and to avoid the tedious journey to Kitty Hawk, the Wrights obtained permission to fly off a local cow pasture known as Huffman Prairie, a few miles outside Dayton. The owner did not charge them; he only requested that they lead the livestock out of the way before taking off.
The 1904 Flyer
The 1904 Flyer
 
They built a hangar on the field and began experimenting with their second powered airplane in May 1904. They began using a tower-and-drop-weight catapult launching device to assist takeoff in lighter winds.
Increasing Stability
The 1903 airplane’s main problems were pitch instability and an overly sensitive elevator. To deal with the instability, the Wrights added weight to the front of their 1904 Flyer to shift the center of gravity forward. They also moved the elevator farther ahead of the wings, which dampened the control response and made the aircraft easier to fly.
The first circular flight
Improvement came slowly. The Wrights did not match their 59-second flight of 1903 until the 49th flight of their 1904 airplane. On September 20, 1904, the Wrights finally flew their first complete circle. The flight lasted 1 minute, 36 seconds and covered 4,080 feet.
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The First Published Eyewitness Account
The first published eyewitness account
Amos I. Root, a beekeeping enthusiast from Medina, Ohio, traveled 175 miles to see the Wright brothers fly and witnessed their first circular flight. He published an account of that historic event in his journal, Gleanings in Bee Culture. It was the first eyewitness account of a Wright brothers airplane flight to appear in print.