THE INNOVATOR – Mining for Ideas

The Wright brothers wrote to the Smithsonian Institute on May 30, 1899 requesting information on the subject of flight. They were sent four pamphlets on the subject and given the suggestion to read Progress in Flying Machines by Octave Chanute and Experiments in Aerodynamics by Samuel Langley. The brothers also studied works by the great ultra-light aircraft pioneer Otto Lilienthal (and eventually rejected his findings). Past mistakes told them lines of thought to be avoided, and unexplored areas to investigate which led them to their own emerging reality.