While still running their bicycle business, Wilbur and Orville studied the problems of mechanical and human flight. The Wright Brothers read everything they could about bird flight, and Otto Lilienthal's work, the brothers became convinced that human flight was possible and decide to conduct some experiments of their own.
On May 30, 1899, Wilbur Wright wrote to the Smithsonian Institution inquiring about any publications on aviation subjects. Needless tosay the Wright Brothers read everything that the Smithsonian Institution sent them. That same year, the Wright Brothers built a biplane kite in to test their "wing-warping" method of controlling a flying machine. This experiment encourages the Wright Brothers to proceed with constructing a flying machine with a pilot.
In 1900, Wilbur Wright first wrote to Octave Chanute, a civil engineer and aviation pioneer. Their correspondence began an important and supportive friendship lasting until Chanute's death in 1910.