The Wright Brothers

When Orville and Wilbur Wright were designing their airplane, they were so involved with the project that they could hardly wait for morning to get back to work, and then would stay late at night trying to solve the issues that had kept man on the ground. They were deeply committed and involved—in love with what they were doing. Their airplane design was not a model of an esthetic styling study, but it nonetheless was a beautiful design in its delicate simplicity. They were perfectionists, knowing that all of the parts had to be designed to be perfectly integrated or the device wouldn’t work. A statement of minimalism. There was nothing on the airplane that didn’t have to be there for it to function.

Car design, where details, gestures, graphics, surfacing, stance, and proportion have an integrated quality that supports a clear, discernible theme are designs that tug heartstrings. It is a matter of personal preference as to what designs have this quality, but each of us have our favorites. You know the feeling—you round a corner and are suddenly eye to headlight with a stunning design that is clearly several cuts above the ordinary. Whatever group designed that car had vision, loved what they were doing, and were blessed with a system that allowed it to go into production.

There was a time where design was like that for all of us. Freedom of expression. Focused, uncomplicated creativity.

This artistic video is about a motorcycle builder in Los Angeles who loves what he is doing. He customizes old Hondas and makes them into European-style cafe racers. He’s intoxicated by the gratification of realizing his creative vision. I would imagine that Orville and Wilbur shared the same potent brew.

Cafe Cowboy

CAFE COWBOY from benedict campbell on Vimeo.

Dustin Knott’s website:

  1. The Wright brothers certainly deserve credit for the painstaking research and development they contributed to the science of aviation; however, while they were building their first powered airplane, at least one other had already flown. Few people know this, because of the history-altering nature of some people. Extensive investigation has revealed that in Connecticut, In 1901, Gustave Whitehead flew his first powered aircraft several times the length of the Wright’s first flight. Over two years before the Wright’s successful flight. Whitehead’s plane, a monoplane with enclosed fuselage and wheels, took off from a runway, like modern planes do. The Wright brothers made a deal with Grosvenor, head of the Smithsonian, and they were credited with the first flight. The Smithsonian controlled the Wright’s archives and suppressed claims of Whitehead, and a century later, the misinformation is still in the official records. Shows what special interests can do in changing history!

  2. Correction:

    Name “Grosvenor” is wrong. In Wright’s conract with Smithsonian in 1948, when the Wright Flyer was given to the museum, the museum agreed to not recognize any manned flight before the Wright’s.

  3. Andrew Russell

    That would explain why a letter found in the Australian archives from the Wright brothers (on their letter head) to Ralph Banks congratulating him on the success of his flight (also further than the Wrights) and hoping to emulate the same in thier first test flight later that year. There have been several other Australian aviator who have, via original hand written documents, shown to beat the Wrights into the air first for a greater overall “witnessed” distance. Mr. Banks efforts noted by a crowd including the local Constable and entered into his daily report.

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