New Wright Brothers Book Has Aviation in Tailspin; Smithsonian Weighs In

Press Release

updated: Dec 14, 2018

Just Released Book Wright Brothers “Wrong Story” Creates Turbulence with Claim of Wilbur Wrights Dominance in Development of First Plane and Orville Wrights Duplicity in Original Biography. Smithsonian Runs Two Page Article in Magazine in Support of new information

A New Book “Wright Brothers Wrong Story” (Prometheus) by Bestselling Author William Hazelgrove smashes the Wright Brothers Myth that the two brothers equally created the famed 1903 flyer that ushered in the age of powered flight. The Smithsonian has jumped in with a two page article in support of the author The contention that Wilbur Wright created the flyer with famed aeronatuical scientist Octave Chanute and that Orville was a glorified mechanic who covered his tracks with biographer Fred Kelly has created windshear in aviation and garnered rave reviews,

William Hazelgrove poured through “The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright” to arrive at his conclusion that it was Wilbur Wright who was responsible for the breakthorugh flight in Kitty Hawk North Carolina on December 17, 1903. “I didnt start out to prove that Wilbur Wright had invented the plane,” the author reflected in a recent interview. “But it became apparent to me that flight rested on the shoulders of the older brother.” Hazelgrove bases his contention on the fact that Wilbur contacted the Smithsonian for information, then the weather bureau for the best place to fly, then he contacted the scientist Octave Chanute. “This began a five hundred letter correspondence that is the basis for cracking physics of flight. Wilbur had to work out new lift coefficients because all the know data was wrong.” Flying Magazine points out that it was Wilbur who then went to Kitty Hawk alone without his younger brother. 

“By far the best published work on the Wright brothers’ personal and professional lives. Thought-provoking and controversial in highlighting Wilbur’s brilliance in aeronautics and showing how he clearly overshadowed his brother’s contribution to manned flight.”

Alan C. Carey, Author of “We Flew Alone: Men and Missions of the United States Navy’s B-24 Liberator Squadrons”

The reaction was swift on the books release on December 4 with the Daily Mail leading the way, . The book also investigates the strange insular family that didn’t trust the world at large. Both men dropped out of highschool and neither ever moved out of the family home. The book contends that: 

  •  Orville Wright exaggerated his role in the invention and rewrote history in a one-sided biography of himself 
  • In “Wright Brothers, Wrong Story,” author William Hazelgrove reveals the real genius was older brother Wilbur, who died nine years after the first flight in 1912
  • Orville, who died in 1948, claimed to have come up with wing warping – Wilbur’s big breakthrough and was also photographed in the famous flying photo 
  • Wilbur’s letters to his friend and fellow inventor Octave Chanute show Orville was not involved in any of his plans 
  • It was only when Wilbur arrived in Kitty Hawk, NC to test his flight in 1900 –  the boys’ father Milton sent Orville to help him
  • The book reveals Orville and Wilbur showed no interest in the opposite sex and were raised to stay at home and believe only “family could be trusted”
  • Orville sent the Flyer to Britain for twenty years after a dispute with The Smithsonian

“We believe in myths, ” Hazelgrove is quoted in an article written for The Smithsonian Magazine. “George Washington never cut down a cherry tree and Ben Franklin didn’t fly a kite in a lightning storm. And Orville Wright didn’t invent the first airplane…that belonged to his brother.”

Related Media

Originally published at