TO OCTAVE CHANUTE
MAY 13, 1900
"For some years, I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man. My disease has increased in severity and I feel that it will soon cost me an increased amount of money, if not my life. I have been trying to arrange my affairs in such a way that I can devote my entire time for a few months to experiment in this field.--McFarland, M.W., The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright, New York, McGraw Hill Book Co., 1953
My general ideas of the subject are similar to those held by most practical experimenters, to wit; that what is chiefly needed is skill rather than machinery. The flight of the buzzard and similar sailers is a convincing demonstration of the value of skill, and the partial needlessness of motors. It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill. This I conceive to be fortunate, for man, by reason of his greater intellect, can more reasonably hope to equal birds in knowledge, than to equal nature in the perfection of her machinery.."