Les expériences d'aviation des frères Wright. Rapport présenté a l'aéro-club d'Amérique. Aviation, Ferrus / WRIGHT des frères, tr, L.
Les expériences d'aviation des frères Wright. Rapport présenté a l'aéro-club d'Amérique.
Offprint in French of Wright Brothers Report
Recording the Longest Flight at the Time
Paris, Nancy, Berger-Levrault et Cie, Éditeurs, 1907

Les expériences d'aviation des frères Wright. Rapport présenté a l'aéro-club d'Amérique.

8vo: pp. (1-3) 4-7 (8, blank). In original printed publisher's wrappers. Printed advertisements on back cover. Ink stamp "From the private library of Orville Wright" on title page, signature of H. A. Miller. Uncut.

A fine copy of the first French edition of Wright brothers' report from March 12, 1906 to the secretary of the recently created Aero Club of America, recording the longest flight in history at the time. This French edition was published the same year that the Wright brothers traveled to Europe in an effort to secure monopoly on air travel and negotiate for the sale of the Wright airplane. In 1908, the Wright brothers would return to Europe to perform 200 demonstrative flights.

The report summarizes the last stage of the brothers' flying experiments, which began in 1899 and allowed them to develop a plane, capable of making routine flights. Upon completing their experiments in Dayton, Ohio in the fall of 1905, the brothers did not fly again for 2.5 years, focusing their attention on securing a patent, which they were granted in May 1906.

In the report, the brothers write that the flights of 1905, made "in a swampy meadow about 8 miles east of Dayton, Ohio, and continued from June until the early days of October," were meant to correct some problems, "necessary to overcome before it would be safe to employ flyers for practical purposes." The experiments proved successful: "Owing to frequent experimental changes in the machine and the resulting differences in its management, the earlier flights were short; but, towards the middle of September means of correcting the obscure troubles were found, and the flyer was at last brought under satisfactory control." The report includes a chart documenting the brothers' progress: on October 5, Wilbur made his longest flight, in which he circled the field 30 times in 39 minutes.

The report also summarizes the brothers' experiments prior to 1905: "Previous to the year 1905 we had experimented at Kitty Hawk, North Caroline, with man-carrying gliding machines in the years 1900, 1901, 1902 and 1903... Flights to the number of more than 100 had also been made at Dayton, Ohio, in 1904..." 

This copy sold at Sotheby's for $4,375 in 2008. We were able to locate only two copies worldwide: at MIT (U.S.) and at BNF (Paris).

*Published Writings of Wilbur and Orville Wright, p. 6.

 

Price: $6,850.00