Just The Facts

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  Just The Facts 
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ave 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:

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, click HERE.

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