The improved performance of the 1902 glider finally enabled the Wright brothers to gain extensive practice in the air. During September and October, they made between 700 and 1,000 glides. Flights of 500 feet were common, and a few topped 600 feet. Orville enthusiastically wrote home of their success, “we now hold all records!”
A picture of success
Above, the Wrights and friends pose with the perfected 1902 glider. From the left: Octave Chanute, Orville, Wilbur, A. M. Herring, George Spratt, and Dan Tate. The Wrights’ older brother, Lorin, who was visiting Kitty Hawk, took most of the photographs in 1902, including this one on October 10.
This wingtip is the only surviving piece from any of the three Wright gliders. The brothers viewed the gliders simply as research tools. Because the aircraft were so beat up from flight testing and repair, Wilbur and Orville simply left them behind at Kitty Hawk when they departed. This wingtip was scavenged years later.
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