Straighten up and fly Wright

‘Real story’ be­hind the Wright brothers’ suc­cess to be pre­sented in Pa­los Heights

Daily Southtown - - WEEKEND - By Jessi Vir­tu­sio

The Wright brothers are syn­ony­mous with flight but a new non­fic­tion book claims one sib­ling dom­i­nated the de­vel­op­ment of the first plane.

Wil­liam Hazel­grove dis­cusses that book, “Wright Brothers, Wrong Story: How Wil­bur Wright Solved the Prob­lem of Manned Flight,” on Jan. 13 at Pa­los Heights Pub­lic Li­brary.

“I wanted to know who they re­ally were. What was the real story? As I was do­ing re­search I stum­bled onto the fact that re­ally Wil­bur Wright was the man who in­vented that plane,” Hazel­grove said via phone from his St. Charles home.

“He was the one who had the ge­nius, tech­ni­cal and oth­er­wise, and the en­gi­neer­ing bril­liance to fig­ure out a con­trol sys­tem for flight. He re­ally is the man who did it. That was re­ally a rev­e­la­tion to me,” he said.

“Wil­bur Wright called a man named Oc­tave Chanute. They re­ally worked out the physics of flight in a se­ries of 500 let­ters. I’ll have pho­tos that they took down in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, of all those years. I will also cover the Wrights’ per­sonal lives.”

Hazel­grove’s the­ory that Wil­bur Wright was re­spon­si­ble for the break­through flight in Kitty Hawk on Dec. 17, 1903, was based on “The Pa­pers of Wil­bur and Orville Wright” as well as Wil­bur Wright con­tact­ing the Smith­so­nian for in­for­ma­tion.

An ar­ti­cle ti­tled “Why Wil­bur Wright De­serves the Bulk of the Credit for the First Flight” by Hazel­grove was pub­lished in the De­cem­ber is­sue of Smith­so­nian mag­a­zine.

“Re­ally only one per­son could have fig­ured out the math, the con­trol sys­tem and then the art of fly­ing.

“Re­ally only one per­son could have fig­ured out the math, the con­trol sys­tem and then the art of fly­ing. Wil­bur did it. That was what he was put on Earth to do. That was his rai­son d’etre.”

Wil­bur did it. That was what he was put on Earth to do. That was his rai­son d’etre,” said Hazel­grove, who is from Vir­ginia and used to va­ca­tion in Kitty Hawk every sum­mer.

“Amer­ica loves team­work sto­ries. We like to be­lieve we can all band to­gether and do ev­ery­thing. Usu­ally break­throughs — the first plane, the first car, any sci­en­tific break­through — are one man’s vi­sion, one man’s God-given abil­ity to crack the Ru­bik’s Cube. That’s what Wil­bur did.”

At­ten­dees of Hazel­grove’s pre­sen­ta­tion in Pa­los Heights can meet the au­thor and get copies of his lat­est book signed. “Wright Brothers, Wrong Story” was re­leased Dec. 4 via New York-based Prometheus Books, which is sold and dis­trib­uted world­wide by Pen­guin Ran­dom House.

“There’s a lot of con­tro­versy in the Wrights’ story that has been ba­si­cally pa­pered over, not the least of which was the con­tro­versy with the Smith­so­nian. In 1928 Orville Wright shipped a 1903 flyer that flew for the first 12 sec­onds of flight to Lon­don out of a dis­pute with the Smith­so­nian,” Hazel­grove said.

“It stayed there for 20 years. He re­fused to bring it back un­til the Smith­so­nian ad­mit­ted the Wrights in­vented the first plane. Franklin De­lano Roo­sevelt and all these peo­ple tried to con­vince Orville to bring the plane back. He wouldn’t do it.

“There is drama upon drama in the Wrights’ his­tory. That’s just a small part of it.”

Hazel­grove’s speak­ing en­gage­ments also in­clude dis­cussing the Wright brothers at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at White Oak Li­brary District’s Lock­port Branch, 121 E. 8th St., and 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at Joliet Pub­lic Li­brary’s Black Road Branch, 3395 Black Road.

He also serves as a con­sul­tant for the PBS film adap­ta­tion of his book “Madam Pres­i­dent: The Se­cret Pres­i­dency of Edith Wil­son” and plans on re­leas­ing his book “Sally Rand: An Amer­i­can Sex Sym­bol” in Novem­ber.


Au­thor Wil­liam Hazel­grove dis­cusses “Wright Brothers, Wrong Story” on Jan. 13 at Pa­los Heights Pub­lic Li­brary.


Wil­liam Hazel­grove re­cently dis­cussed his book “Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair” at the Chicago His­tory Mu­seum. He will dis­cuss his non­fic­tion book “Wright Brothers, Wrong Story,” which was re­leased in De­cem­ber, Jan. 13 at Pa­los Heights Pub­lic Li­brary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.