PILOT TRAINING, PAU, EARLY 1909.
Group of 5 black and white photographs, largest 7 x 4½ inches and slightly smaller, one cut to an oval and mounted.
In the summer of 1908, while Orville was working on convincing the American authorities of the efficacy of their machine, Wilbur was trying to fulfill the proposal set by Lazare Weiller. Weiller had offered 500,000 francs to the first aviator to fly around a closed circuit in a heavier-than-air vehicle with a passenger. In exchange, Weiller and his syndicate would acquire certain licensing rights. One additional stipulation, however, was that the Wrights had to train three pilots.
Wilbur started training three students in Auvours in October 1908, but, joined by Orville and their sister Katherine, he began in earnest in 1909 at Pau in the south of France. The students were Comte Charles de Lambert, Paul Tissandier, and Capitaine Lucas de Girardville.
Comprising: the three novices; the brothers with Tissandier and de Lambert, demonstrating the controls; the King of Spain, Orville, and a crowd watching Wilbur; Wilbur and Tissandier in flight; the three siblings, Katherine being presented with flowers.