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Orville Wright, [Diary Entry], October 1903

Text from Diary
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[8 October 1903, Thursday - Orville Wright Diary, Kill Devil Hills, NC]

[Page 6]

Day opened with about three meters of wind from south which gradually increased to 8 meters at 9 o’clock. Our goods having come in on the Willis during night, Dan waited to make arrangements for having them hauled down. He arrived at camp at 11 o’clock, and the goods at 12. Walter Best and a young Collins hauled them, and took dinner with us. At one o’clock we took machine to small hill, where we made a few glides. In the last one Will got the left wing turned up with the wind from that side. The machine sailed off sidewise at a rapid rate and landed on right wing scooping up several hund. lbs. of sand. After inspecting Big Hill and finding no suitable slope we returned to camp.

[Page 7]

Dark storm clouds appeared in the west. We put the hinges on north door and just as we were finishing the storm burst upon us. It rained continually during night and wind blew at high rate from northwest, so that we got but little sleep.

Weather Data for 8 October 1903

[9 October 1903, Friday - Orville Wright Diary, Kill Devil Hills, NC]

Wind blowing at 15 to 20 meters when we got up. We unpacked rest of goods for new machine and set to work on upper surface. The wind gradually increased during day, and water raised several inches above part of floor. We had to get at edge of roof to nail paper down in wind blowing 75 miles per hour according to Weather Bureau. Dan set off for home in this storm.

Weather Data for 9 October 1903

[10 October 1903, Saturday - Orville Wright Diary, Kill Devil Hills, NC]

Wind blowing 35 to 40 miles early, but moderated to 12 to 14 meters by noon.

[Page 8]

At one o’clock we took machine to north slope Big Hill where we each made two glides. Wind blowing 14 meters and more. In my second glide a strong gust started to take me up rapidly, and in bringing it down I lit upon Will’s head with the rear left-hand corner. Both front and rear upper spars were broken, probably by force of wind on upper side. We took machine to camp as quickly as possible, but were caught in a squall before being able to house it. One of the props under door fell down allowing the wind to break the door. Wind increased to 40 to 50 miles towards evening, and blew hard all night.

Weather Data for 10 October 1903

[11 October 1903, Sunday - Orville Wright Diary, Kill Devil Hills, NC]

Wind still blows 40 to 50 miles (20 to 25 meters per second). We spent whole day indoors, on account of rain and water above camp.

Weather Data for 11 October 1903

[12 October 1903, Monday - Orville Wright Diary, Kill Devil Hills, NC]

[Page 9]

Wind from northwest most of day, starting with 7 to 8 meters early, and 4 or 5 meters in afternoon. We worked all day in making connections of sections of upper surface, putting in wires at rear edge & putting on some of hinges. Worked over an hour after supper. Dan reported today that five boats were ashore between here and Cape Henry. One five miles above K. Hawk.

Weather Data for 12 October 1903

[13 October 1903, Tuesday - Orville Wright Diary, Kill Devil Hills, NC]

Wind very light, 4 to 5 meters. We worked all morning on upper surface, in afternoon in making repairs on old machine and changing the end control back to its original system of operating all sections. We got letters from father, Kate, Chas. Taylor, and Prof. Abbe. We are not about ready for stretching cloth on upper surface.

Weather Data for 13 October 1903

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Citation: Diary entry, October 1903. Diary of Orville Wright, Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
Location: Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

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Page Updated 03 September 2004
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