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The Octave Chanute Pages

Reprinted from 
THE CHICAGO RECORD,
SEPTEMBER 28, 1896
Monday
 

AIRSHIP'S FINAL TEST

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THE EXPERIMENT IS A FAILURE
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Adverse Winds Strike the Creature In Its 
Flight and Bring It to Earth - Inventor Thinks He will Yet
Solve the Problem.
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   Dune Park, Ind. has been deserted by the Albatross and flock of mechanical birds that Octave Chanute and Inventor William Paul have for some months been trying to teach how to fly. The creatures have not flown south for the winter. They have simply been packed in cases and shipped back to Chicago on an Air line freight train.   Owing to adverse winds, the experiments in aerial navigation have not been entirely satisfactory, but Mr. Chanute and inventor Paul are satisfied with the season's work and claim to have approached a little nearer to the goal for which so many inventors have been striving.   Saturday, the north wind that was wanted for a test of a big Airship Albatross was blowing at the desired velocity of twenty-five miles an hour, and the test was made. But the wind shifted to the east just as the craft spread its wings and whirled it into a clump of trees, breaking the left wings of the machine and bruising Capt. Paul.

Air Coasting Record Broken



  This was the final test, and, after coasting for a while with Mr. Chanute's aerocurves and breaking the world's record for air coasting, it is said, the machines were packed for shipment.

   William Paul is still confident that his airship will prove a success if it can be launched under proper conditions

   Mr. Chanute said yesterday that while he might not be able to devote as much time to practical experiments in aerial navigation another year, he was satisfied with what he had accomplished. He had not hoped to see the problem of aerial navigation solved, but had undertaken the summer's experiments largely for the purpose of perfecting the aerocurve, and had practically succeeded. He now has a device that will adjust itself to any condition of the wind; will right itself and float gradually and safely to the ground, if dropped at any angle or from any reasonable height.

Success of the Aerocurve.



   He has completed a number of aerocurves, capable of sustaining one person, that have carried passengers from a height of about fifty feet a distance of nearly 500 feet before reaching terra firma and landed them comfortably and without jarring.

   Small aerocurves, proportionally weighted, have been tossed in the air at almost every angle and have invariably righted and floated to the ground. Some have been set adrift upside down, and, like a cat, have "landed on their feet." These experiments lead Mr. Chanute to believe that he has perfected a parachute, or aerocurve that solves the problem of aerial balancing and will be safe and useful.

Newspaper and Eyewitness Accounts

1896 1897 1898
June 24 - Chicago Tribune
August 2 - Chicago Tribune September 5 - Times-Herald November 11 - Elmira, NY 
Daily Advertiser
September 8 - Chicago Tribune September 8 - Times-Herald
September 11 - Chicago Chronicle September 12 - Times-Herald
September 12 - Chicago Tribune
September 28 - Chicago Record
October 3 - Westchester Tribune