Just The Facts
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you ever played the game "Telegraph?" A dozen or more people sit in a circle and
one whispers a short message to their neighbor. The neighbor whispers the message as
they heard it to the next person, and so on until the message makes it's way around
the circle. When it arrives back at it's originator, the message is always corrupted.
So it is with history. The story of the invention of the airplane is
such a popular part of our culture, and it is so often repeated,
that dozens of "myth-conceptions" about the Wright Brothers and
early aviation have grown up in the wake of all the retellings. This section is for those of you who wish to separate fact from fiction
brief doses of the unvarnished truth about early aircraft and the folks who flew them.
These facts are divided into several categories:
- The Wright Family
– short biographies, genealogy, and other information about members
of Orville and Wilbur's immediate family.
Bicycles – information about the Wrights bicycle
business and the bicycles they made.
- Wright Kites and Gliders
– specifications and data on the unpowered aircraft designed by the
– specifications and data on the powered aircraft designed by the
Wright Engines and Propellers
– specifications and data on the motors developed by the Wrights to
power their airplanes.
- Wright Trivia
Interesting facts about the Wright brothers.
Our thanks to Dr. Joe McDaniel and
the Wright Research Group for their help in preparing "Just the Facts."
Joe Friday (played by Jack Webb) never said the line he is most
famous for: "Just the facts, ma'am." This is another
example of the cultural telegraph that distorts any tale worth
retelling. What Joe really said
was, "All we want are the facts, ma'am." For those of you who can't quite place Joe Friday, click
on the photo for a hint (and wait a moment for the file to load). And for those of you too young to remember,