Book: Journalists had to hide to see Wright Bros. in the air

Wright Bros. On a breezy Thursday in 1908, five big-city reporters hid in a patch of woods, scratched at chiggers biting their sweaty bodies and bore secret witness to the marvel of a new century: the Wright Brothers circling Kill Devil Hill in a gasoline-powered airplane.

The famous pair had been flying for several years, notching the world’s first powered, manned, controlled flight on the Outer Banks in December 1903. But they were secretive, distrustful and obsessed with protecting their own patent from competition, so few had seen them fly. For all the world knew, the Wrights were fakers.

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