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Wilbur and Orville Wright: A Chronology

1908 Kitty Hawk, N.C.
Modified Wright

1905 Machine The Wrights, having done no flying since October 1905, came to Kitty Hawk, Wilbur arriving on April 9 and Orville and the machine on April 25, to do some practice flying before undertaking the official U.S. government trials in Washington and the fulfillment of a contract with Lazare Weiller in France.  Twenty-two flights were made between May 6 and May 14.  The 1905 Wright machine used was altered so that the operator and one passenger could sit upright on the lower wing surface.  The 1908 flights were witnessed by the men of Kill Devil Hill Life Saving Station, by a number of newspapermen, and by a few persons who were hunting and fishing in the vicinity.

DATE FLIGHT PILOT TIME DISTANCE ALTITUDE REMARKS
May 6
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
WW
22 sec.
1,008 ft.
 
 
May 8
 
 
 
 
 
In his Diary T. Wilbur states "We made nine flights in the morning, and two in the afternoon."
 
1
OW
31 sec.
ca. 945 ft.
 
 
 
2
WW
59-1/2 sec.
ca. 2,230 ft.
 
 
 
3
OW
6 sec.
23 m.
 
 
 
4
OW
8-1/4 sec.
 
 
 
 
5
WW
 
 
 
Machine scraped along ground and did not attain flight.
 
6
WW
 
 
 
Machine again scraped ground, did not attain flight.
 
7
OW
11-3/4 sec.
69 m.
 
 
 
8
WW
10-2/5 sec.
68 m.
 
 
 
9
OW
8-1/2 sec.
22 m.
 
 
 
10
WW
6-3/4 sec.
47 m.
 
 
 
11
WW
6 sec.
25 m.
 
 
May 11
 
 
 
 
 
Wright flights of May 11, 13, 14 witnessed from distance by D. Bruce Salley, freelance reporter; Byron R. Newton of the New York Herald; and William Hoster of New York American.
 
1
OW
71 sec.
1,280 m.
 
 
2
WW
2 min. 31 sec.
2,989 m.
 
 
3
OW
2 min. 11 sec.
2,515 m.
 
May 13
 
 
 
 
 
Reporters viewing flights on May 11 were joined by P. H. McGowan of the London Daily Mail, Arthur Ruhl, writer, and James H. Hare, photographer for Collier's Weekly, who witnessed flights of May 13 and May 14 and made a photograph from a distance which was published in Collier's, May 30, the first picture ever published of an airplane in flight.
 
1
WW
50-4/5 sec.
1,051 m.
 
 
2
OW
2 min. 44-1/4 sec.
3,065 m.
 
 
3
WW
2 min. 39-3/4 sec.
ca. 2,000 m. (complete circle made)
 
 
OW
3 min. 20 sec.
3,881 m. (complete circle made)
May 14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
WW
28-3/5 sec.
600 m.
 
Charles W. Furnas, mechanic, from Dayton, who had arrived at Kitty Hawk on April 15 to assist Wrights in their flights, was a passenger, the first carried by the Wrights.
 
2
OW
4 min. 2-2/5 sec.
4,120 m.
 
A complete circle was made and landing was near starting point.  Charles Furnas again passenger with Orville.  Three subsequent attempts by Wilbur were unsuccessful.
 
3
WW
7 min. 29 sec.
8,120 m.
 
Machine plunged into the ground when traveling at a speed of about 141 miles an hour and was badly damaged.  Flights were then discontinued.  Wilbur suffered slight injuries.