How could two misanthropic brothers who never left home, were high-school dropouts, and made a living as bicycle mechanics have figured out the secret of manned flight? This new history of the Wright brothers' monumental accomplishment focuses on their early years of trial and error at Kitty Hawk (1900-1903) and Orville Wright's epic fight with the Smithsonian Institute and Glenn Curtis. William Hazelgrove makes a convincing case that it was Wilbur Wright who designed the first successful airplane, not Orville. He shows that, while Orville's role was important, he generally followed his brother's lead and assisted with the mechanical details to make Wilbur's vision a reality.
Combing through original archives and family letters, Hazelgrove reveals the differences in the brothers' personalities and abilities. He examines how the Wright brothers myth was born when Wilbur Wright died early and left his brother to write their history with personal friend John Kelly. The author notes the peculiar inwardness of their family life, business and family problems, bouts of depression, serious illnesses, and yet, rising above it all, was Wilbur's obsessive zeal to test out his flying ideas. When he found Kitty Hawk, this desolate location on North Carolina's Outer Banks became his laboratory. By carefully studying bird flight and the Rubik's Cube of control, Wilbur cracked the secret of aerodynamics and achieved liftoff on December 17, 1903.
Hazelgrove's richly researched and well-told tale of the Wright brothers' landmark achievement, illustrated with rare historical photos, captures the excitement of the times at the start of the "American century."
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PREFACE: THE WRIGHT MYTH
Excerpted from "Wright Brothers, Wrong Story"
Copyright © 2018 William Hazelgrove.
Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Preface: The Wright Myth 9
Part 1 Preflight 21
1 The Biographer-1942 23
2 The Letter-1948 28
3 The Murderer-1884 32
4 Steam Bugs-1896 42
5 Typhoid-1896 51
6 Inventors-1900 62
7 School of One-1900 67
Part 2 Flight 77
8 The Pilgrim-1900 79
9 The Wright Sister-1900 94
10 Kill Devil Hills-October 18, 1900 100
11 The Mentor-1901 107
12 Dangerous Times-1901 113
13 Return to Kitty Hawk-1901 120
14 Wilbur Unleashed-1901 131
15 Tunnel Vision-1901 138
16 The Smithsonian-1902 143
17 The Movable Rudder-1902 146
18 United States Patent Office-1903 151
19 The Western Society of Engineers-1903 154
20 The Great Embarrassment-1903 160
21 Great Things-September 23, 1903 165
22 The Photograph-December 17, 1903 175
Part 3 Landings 183
23 Fliers or Liars-1906 185
24 Death in the Sky-September 17, 1908 196
25 Return to Eden-1908 201
26 The Injunction-1910 203
27 Warped by the Desire for Great Wealth-1911 208
28 Final Flight-1912 215
29 The Great Flood-1914 220
30 To Fly Again-1914 223
31 Hammondsport, New York-1914 226
32 Middle of the Atlantic Ocean-1928 232
33 A Test of Wills-1930 235
34 The Lone Eagle- 1934 239
35 The Battle of Britain-1940 244
36 The Authorized Biography-1943 246
37 Washington, DC-1943 249
38 Mabel Beck-1948 251
39 Wright Brothers, Wrong Story 254
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
None of the Wright brothers flew a plane before 1908 If you do not believe me, read this free collection of letters and articles: "A. I. Root, the liar number four after the Wright Brothers and their mentor, Octave Chanute". The story about the more than 160 flights performed by the Wright brothers between December 17, 1903, and August 7, 1908, rely just on one witness, Amos I. Root from Medina Ohio, the only one quoted by Orville Wright as independent and disinterested. Root claimed in an article which appeared in January 1905 that he had seen Wilbur Wright flying in a circuit on September 20, 1904. However, if you read his letters to the Wrights plus the numerous articles in which this man from Medina mentioned the two aeroplanists (all these texts are attached to the above mentioned book), you remark that Root did not see any powered flight on September 20, 1904. He was just a victim of the lies spread by the two Daytonians and, at the same time, of his own obsession with heavier than air flying machines. A. I. Root was also a person who wished to get a (fraudulent) place in the history of aviation believing that the effort of reminding repeatedly his readers, he had witnessed the first circular flight ever performed by a man carrying plane, would make his account more credible and finally his story would become an accepted truth. Mr. Hazelgrove is not well documented. It is a known fact that Wilbur Wright was the brain behind brother's 1900-1903 gliders and 1908 plane but he also was the brain of a huge hoax. There is absolutely no trace of any Wright plane before 1908. No picture, technical drawing or detailed description of those 1903-1905 powered flying machine was published before August 8, 1908. Aviation appeared in 1906 without the help of the Wrights.
If you are a fan of Mr Hazelgrove as I am you will realize that from some of his former books like"and the "Al Capone in the 1933Worl's fair " you will always learn something new. Many people were under the assumption that Orville was the one who designed the first successful airplane when in fact it was Wilbur. Wilbur was four years older then his brother but many did not realize the age difference as they worked together from an early age. Many obstacles such as serious illness and depression played a huge part in the brother's lives. Wilbur was kind of possessed with testing out and flying. When he found Kitty Hawk located on North Carolina's outer banks that were where he did all his research. After many unsuccessful attempts, he achieved a liftoff on December 17, 1903. This book is very detailed and different than other books on the subject. Be prepared to go on a magical journey thru the lives of these two amazing brothers.