Yes, you re "Wright" about this. I spent half a day in the small musuem at Kitty Hawk and was very impressed with their work. I was alowed to read some of their notes, etc. In addition to what you mentioned they also invented "wing warping" as contol and throughly understood the importance of control*, which few other at the time did. Not only did they do wind-tunnel testing but used equations to evaluate and understand their measurement. Some did not make sense, until they discovered that some of the compressibility data on which some of the pubished values were based were wrong. They corrected the published errors! I admire them greatly as self-taught scientists, carefully understanding problems and systematically solving them, keeping good notebooks, etc. Really advanced for their time. Unfortunately they were not the first to make what I consider true self powered flight. (Take off by power of your motor on level ground, fly at least a circle, and land safely at the same (or higher) altitude as take off, preferably back where your started from.) I know very little about how Santos Dummont (by edit: name is now correctly spelled) achieved what he did. Clearly he knew a lot too, but perhaps more intutively from years of experience with balloons with motors etc. He was a strange person, very fancy dresser, perhaps homosexual, almost sure he never married, but you can check more by google etc. He make a strange set of stairs: All the even number steps were only couple of inches deep on left side like this P if rotated 90 degrees clockwise and all the odd numbered ones were the converse like this b when also rotated 90 degrees clockwise. You must start out on the correct foot to use his stairs, but they assend in less horizontal space than normal stairs. They sort of have the advantages of a ladder in this regard and yet the ease of use of stairs. He was obviously a very smart and talented man. -------------------------------------------- *Later, by edit: I know nothing about Clement Ader -but perhaps lack of appreciating the importance of control was why he crashed?