In constructing his machine Farman has adopted the same double-surface type of machine as that used by the Wright brothers, to which he has added another pair of double surfaces at some distance back of the front planes (in conjunction with a horizontal rudder in front) for the purpose of steadying the latter in a fore-and-aft direction. In order to obtain the steadying effect desired, it is essential that the rear planes should remain practically horizontal, while the forward planes must be set at a considerable angle (about 15 to 20 degrees) in order that the machine shall lift at the speed at which the motor and propeller are capable of driving it. On account of the sharpness of the angle of advance presented by the forward planes it is impossible to obtain any higher speed when the machine is in the air, as the great air resistance encountered by the aeroplane when flying at so sharp an angle consumes the entire horse-power. Thus it will be seen that by the addition of the steadying pair of planes used by Farman to accomplish what the Wright brothers maintain by skill or by some secret method, viz., the longitudinal stability, he has decreased the efficiency of his machine by three at the least.
In view of the above-mentioned facts, while giving to M. Farman the credit for first publicly demonstrating that it is possible to fly in all directions, both with, against, and across a light wind, we nevertheless wish to recall to the aeronautical world the fact that to America belongs the credit of producing the first successful motor-driven aeroplane, and that to such men as the Wright brothers, A. M. Herring, and Gustave Whitehead—men who under the tutelage of Lilienthal and Chanute, have begun with gliding flight and gradually worked their way forward to the production of a self-propelled aeroplane in all its details, including the gasoline motor—belongs the real credit of having produced the first successful heavier-than-air flying machines.