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The Octave Chanute Pages

Reprinted from
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
September 8, 1896

This Article concerns itself with William Paul Butusov's 1 'Albatross'

FLYING MACHINES BEING TESTED
ON THE INDIANA SAND DUNES
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   Octave Chanute's party, now carrying on experiments with air machines on the lake shore near Dune Park, Ind., did not make any additional launches of their machines yesterday owing to unfavorable wind conditions. A steady breeze from the north, having a velocity of not more than twenty miles an hour, is wanted. This is demanded because the experiments ahead are to proceed from the end of a wooden chute facing the lake. As soon as a suitable wind blows the test of Mr. Paul's machine will be made

   The special wind craft is shaped like an ark and differs from the other machines which Mr. Chanute and Mr. Herring are practicing with, in that the operator gets entirely inside. He has room to move forward and backward several feet, which the maker expects will give him control over the movements of the machine sufficient to guide it. The ark is made of light sticks banded together with thin wires, and is extremely light for a structure big enough to hold a man and the expansive sail surfaces which furnishes the power in the teeth of a lake wind. .

   Mr. Paul has full faith in this craft and says it is not a question of theory with him. He says he has been in the skys lots of times with it and has sailed around for half an hour at a time. He is from Mammouth Cave, Ky., and says he there successfully soared over his farm without a mishap. His plan is to adjust the ship upon the chute, then get in it and have his helpers push it off. It will strike the air at a point about thirty feet from the sand slope and if it slides into the air some yards, it will double that distance to the ground.

   The experiment with this machine is not properly a part of the scientific work being done by Mr. Chanute. The machines the engineer is concerned in are patterns of his own and Mr. Herring's invention. But Mr. Paul has such unlimited faith in his ark flyer and claims so much in the way of previous experiments, that the Chicago party is doing all it can do to help him prove his plan. But neither of the other inventors expects to take a trip in the Paul air boat.

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NOTES:

1 Throughout many of the newspaper accounts of the Chanute party's experiments William Paul Butusov is referred to as "William Paul" only. No explanation is known, but one might surmise that he was tired of spelling his name for reporters.  

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