International financier Charles Flint learns of the
Wrights' achievement and negotiates a deal to act as their
agent in Europe.
His reputation lends great credibility and gravity to all
their efforts to sell their invention.
March Gabriel Voisin
and his brother Charles build and fly a
modified Chanute glider with a box-kite tail. This will be
the configuration for their first successful airplanes.
tests the first of his monoplanes, the Blériot V. It
flies only 6 meters before crashing.
Wilbur Wright arrives in Paris to test the market for
airplanes. Later he is joined by his brother Orville
and Charlie Taylor after they complete an aircraft
(the first Wright Model A) and ship it to France.
While in Paris, the Wrights meet with Frank S. Lahm
and his son Lt. Frank P. Lahm, who is visiting his
July Alexander Graham Bell, Canada,
United States, Lt. Thomas Selfridge, United States, John McCurdy,
Canada, and Casey Baldwin, Canada, form the Aerial Experiment Association.
Lt. John W. Dunne, working at the Army Balloon
Factory in England, tests the first top-secret military
aircraft, a two-passenger swept-wing glider with no tail. It
is the first "flying wing." It flies for 8 seconds on its
first flight, then crashes injuring a passenger,
Lt. Col. John E. Capper. Despite the accident, the
design shows promise and Dunne's secret work continues.
tests another monoplane, the Blériot VI. It flies 150
meters (492 feet). Later, he will fly 184 meters (604
feet)in a modified version.
Gen. James Allen, Chief of the US Army Signal Corps,
issues an order creating the Aeronautical Division and
placing Captain Charles Chandler in charge. This is
the very beginning of the US Air Force.
Lt. Frank P. Lahm, son of balloonist Frank S. Lahm
and winner of the Gordon Bennett Cup for ballooning,
joins the Aeronautical Division. He writes a letter to his
superiors that finally wakes them up to the accomplishments
of the Wright brothers.
September 30 Henri Farman, England, turns up
at the Voisin factory in France and buys an airplane. He makes a short hop
of 30 meters (98 feet).
October 15 to 26
Henri Farman modifies the plane with a
single-surface front elevator instead of the double-surface
Wright-style elevator. He also replaces the tail with a smaller
unit and adds wing dihedral. He makes several flights, the
longest of which is 771 meters (2530 feet). The Coupe
Ernest Archdeacon trophy passes from Santos-Dumont
to Farman and he collects the Aéro-Club de France
prizes for the first flights of 300 and 500 meters (984 and
Carl Dienstbach and Capt. Alfred Hildenbrandt,
Germany, arrive in Dayton, Ohio to interview witnesses to
the Wrights' flights at Huffman Prairie and confirm their
November The Scientific American
in cooperation with the Aero Club of America
offers a prizes of $2,500 and a trophy for the first flight in America of one kilometer
November 5 Leon Delagrange, France, makes
a flight in a Voison-built aircraft and crashes just shy of 500 meters (1640
feet). During this flight, he makes a U-turn, the first turn a pilot has
attempted in Europe.
Henri Farman makes a flight 1030
meters (3380 feet), trying for the Grand Prix dAviation. This
is the first time a European pilot remains airborne for more than a minute.
Farman makes a complete turn, but the judges disqualify him because his
wheels touch the ground before he completes the circuit. Orville Wright
is present for this flight.
Wilbur Wright and Charlie Taylor depart Europe
for New York City. Upon arriving, there is a message
requesting Wilbur's presence in Washington, D.C. to meet
with members of the US Department of War. Charlie goes on to
Dayton, Wilbur to Washington.
flies 500 meters (1640 feet) in the Blériot VII. For
the first time, his monoplane design is showing promise. On
the same day, Robert Esnault-Pelterie, France, flies 600
meters (1969 feet) in his REP monoplane.
Alberto Santos Dumont flies 200 meters (656 feet) in
No. 19, the first of his diminutive monoplanes. This
machine will evolve to become the Demoiselle, often
considered to be the first ultralight aircraft.
The German newspaper Lokal-Anzeiger publishes the
accounts of Carl Dienstbach and Capt. Alfred
Hildenbrandt confirming the Wrights'
Wilbur Wright meets with Gen. James Allen, chief
of the US Army Signal Corps, and Gen. William Crozier
and Maj. Lawson Fuller of the US Board of Ordinance
(the procurement arm of the Department of War) to discuss
the capabilities of a Wright aircraft.
Orville Wright departs Europe for New York
City and Dayton, Ohio.
Wilbur Wright agrees with Gen. James Allen that
the Wright brothers can provide an airplane capable of
carrying a pilot and a passenger for $25,000. On the same
day, Alfred de Pischoff, a Hungarian inventor working
in France, tests a tractor biplane. The biplane is makes
only a few short hops, but it is the first aircraft powered
by an air-cooled Anzani engine, designed by
Alessandro Anzani, Italy.
December 23 The United States
Department of War,
Board of Ordinance, finally convinced that the Wrights can do what they say they can do,
issues a list of specifications for a flying machine.