A MONTH IN THE LIFE OF THE WRIGHTS: APRIL 1908
Posted on 22 May 2020
In 1908 the Wright brothers demonstrate a two-passenger airplane in Europe and America. Orville crashes during a U.S. Army demonstration flight and is badly injured. His passenger, Lt. Thomas Selfridge, becomes the first person to die in an airplane crash. Also in 1908, The Ford Motor Company produces the first "Model T" automobile. Oil is discovered in the Middle East and Lt. General Robert Baden-Powell writes a book, Scouting for Boys, that leads to the founding of the Boy Scouts.
The 1905 Wright Flyer shipped to Kitty Hawk to be used by Wilbur & Orville for practice flying and in renewing their pilot skills, as they had done no flying since 1905. While at Kitty Hawk the Wright brothers adapted the Flyer to carry two people, then flew it with Charley Furnace riding in the right seat. This is the only surviving photo of the first two-man Flyer.
APRIL 06, 1908
Wilbur leaves for Kitty Hawk, arriving there April 9 only to see the 1903 camp ravaged by weather and looted by visitors. This trip would mark Wilbur’s last to Kitty Hawk. Orville leaves for Kitty Hawk on April 21, arriving there April 25 with the Wright machine.
APRIL 10, 1908
Public announcement of Wright brothers’ contract with Lazare Weiller is made in L’Auto. Lazare Weiller, a wealthy Frenchman, formed a syndicate to control the right to build, sell or license the Wright plane in France.
APRIL 15, 1908
Charley Furnas, Wright mechanic and first ever airplane passenger, arrives unexpectedly at Kitty Hawk to assist Wrights in their experiments. April 25, Wilbur, with assistance of Charley, completes the new camp building, begun April 20, to be used for living quarters during 1908 experiments.
APRIL 27, 1908
Wrights unpack and begin assembly of their airplane.
After the Wrights successful flights in Kitty Hawk Wilbur, left shortly thereafter for France. Orville, Charley Furnas, and Charley Taylor—the Wright's first mechanic—built the first military aircraft, shipped it to Fort Myer, Virginia, assembled it, and helped Orville maintain and launch it.