“The Wright Brothers”

David McCullough

David McCullough’s books are always a pleasure to read and this was no exception. It’s a good biography of the Wrights which doesn’t ignore the role of their sister Katherine and which details the time they spent in Europe, neither of which I knew much about. Wilbur died in 1912 but Orville lived another 36 years. The book doesn’t have much to say about those decades, and I would have appreciated it had there been more about Orville’s life after Wilbur’s death.

While checking dates for this post in Wikipedia, I came across this (Orville’s last flight as pilot was in 1918):

On April 19, 1944, the second production Lockheed Constellation, piloted by Howard Hughes and TWA president Jack Frye, flew from Burbank, California, to Washington, D.C. in 6 hours and 57 minutes (2300 mi – 330.9 mph). On the return trip, the airliner stopped at Wright Field to give Orville Wright his last airplane flight, more than 40 years after his historic first flight.[153] He may even have briefly handled the controls. He commented that the wingspan of the Constellation was longer than the distance of his first flight.

By the way, this is not the first time the Wrights have appeared in this blog.