“I confess that in 1901 I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years.”

“We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity.”

“If birds can glide for long distances, then… why can’t I?”

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.”

“The airplane stays up because it doesn’t have the time to fall.”

“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”

“It is astonishing what force, purity, and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods.”

“I am an enthusiast, but not a crank in the sense that I have some pet theories as to the proper construction of a flying machine.”

“The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who, in their grueling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space.”

“More than anything else, the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination.”

“The only thing about this flight that worries me is that I will do something to spoil it.”

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”

“If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.”

“The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport.”

“If you are looking for perfection in Rome, you are bound to be disappointed. It is not the best place to take a vertical flight.”

“We had no idea that others would criticize our work as being empirical. Thoughtful persons would, we believed, see the similarity of its logical processes to those of the universally accepted procedures of science.”

“I have not written a word about my experiences yesterday since I left Kitty Hawk. The details are not cheerful.”

“The machine is the servant of the imagination…”

“The effect of the sight of the first steamboat on the Ohio river was electrical. The whole population of Louisville gathered upon the shore.”

“If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, ‘Pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.'”

“We laid the affair before Parliament as distinctly and respectfully as possible, but they declined to do anything.”

“I need not mention the institutions of our own land as they are admitted by all to be without inferiors and without equals.”

“If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, then there would be little hope for advance.”

“We had a pair of tandem-wing machines rigged up with two decks apiece on the forward center-section, six feet long for floatage.”

“The power of our invention [the airplane] is proportional to the altitude attained.”

“To use wings for any purpose except for flight is a deception.”

“I am tired of listening to a mere enumeration of advantages, without proving by the development of some principle that everything claimed as an advantage is a good overhead adjustment.”

“The behaviour of our machine seemed almost like thought.”

“To get a plane from the ground you can slide down hill or push it down hill.

“I am always brought back to earth by reminding myself that the details which we have to solve in organizing an expedition are not of the life or death type.”