"How does it feel to fly?"

In two weeks of practical experiments, Chanute learned more about flying than he did in two decades of theory. Even though Chanute did not attempt to fly himself, several photos exist showing him standing in the correct take-off position: How does it feel to fly?

Back in Chicago, results of the New York and Huron Street Beach experiments were tabulated and evaluated. Gliders were repaired or rebuilt. A new tri-plane design was built in William Avery’s shop. Chanute’s knowledge of Pratt trussing from bridge building was applied to this new machine, resulting in strength and stiffness with a minimum of weight.

Octave Chanute with the newly designed biplane glider

September 4, 1896. Courtesy of the National Air and Space MuseumSmithsonian Institute. Negative 1A-2036084-10697

The glider later became the foundation for all future designs of flying machines. Chanute seems to get the feel for flying, although it is generally believed that he never flew.