Following are excerpts from a letter the Wright brothers received in August 1900 from William (Bill) Tate, a resident of the Outer Banks:
In answering I would say that you would find here nearly any type of ground you could wish; you could, for instance, get a stretch of sandy land 1 mile by five with a bare hill in center 80 feet high, not a tree or bush anywhere to break the eveness of the wind current. This in my opinion would be a fine place; our winds are always steady, generally from 10 to 20 miles velocity per hour.
The "hill" Tate referred to was part of a group of sand dunes known as the Kill Devil Hills. The largest of these was approximately 100 feet tall and served as the Wrights' primary launching site for their gliders.
1. According to Bill Tate, what features of the Kitty Hawk area made it a suitable location for flight experiments? What warnings did he provide?
2. Match Map 2 to Map 1. What additional information does Map 2 give you about the area?
3. Locate Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and the Wright brothers' camp on Map 2. Why do you think the Wrights established their camp where they did?
¹ William Tate to Wilbur Wright, August 18, 1900. In Fred C. Kelly, ed., Miracle at Kitty Hawk: The Letters of Wilbur and Orville Wright (New York: Farrar, Straus & Young, 1951), 25.
* The map on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Map 2, but be aware that the file may take as much as 60 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.