George A. Spratt
Dr. George A. Spratt and his son,
George G. Spratt, with their glider in 1909.
Photo from

via email from Paul Dunlop, 5-25-04
     Here is a new website I've just stumbled across. Its about the aviation work underaken by George Spratt the elder, and George Spratt the younger, whose work focused on the control-wing or free-wing pivoting wing concept.
      If the name rings bells, its because the elder George Spratt actually spent time at Kitty Hawk with the Wright Brothers.
     One of the website's page's contains some very nice tinted photos of the elder Spratt's aircraft. The site also has a number of pdf articles that can be downloaded.
via email from Stephen Maris, 5-7-07
Hi Ralph,
     My name is Stephen Maris and George was my Great, great uncle or my father's father's brother. He was a great man. I visited him several times in Clinton and helped him out with is never ending projects.
     Shortly before he died, I visited him and he was working on some transcripts I believe for Texas AM. He could hardly see at that time and was dictating all his notes into a recorder. Do you know anything about these records? I would really like to put together a complete reference book about him for future generations.
     My son is now 13 and very curious about how our past family played a role in modern flight.
Editor's Note:I thank Stephen for these anecdotes which help to expand our understanding of this very interesting man. I hope that if you read this story, and if you have any idea as to where the recordings are today, you will contact us.

via email from James Macaulay, 1-3-08
     As teenagers in the early 60's, a friend and I were bicycling through our home town of Media, PA. Riding past an open garage around 2nd & Orange, we saw an airplane under construction! Naturally, we had to stop and chat.
     George Spratt, "Mr Spratt" to us, was very happy to share what he was doing, and even hired us at .25/hour to buck rivets. He also taught us how to work fiberglass - he had developed a sensitivity to epoxy so we could really help him. Amazingly, I never developed that problem, even today. My family had a cottage on the Northeast River, and we would sometimes take a boat over to the "Flats" to watch the test flights. He removed the airspeed indicator from his plane and let us use it to check the top speed of the little hydrocart we had built! We worked with him irregularly for several years, and I lost touch with him while I served a 4-year hitch in the Navy 66-70. I remember looking for him at the shop (which by then appeared to have been sold), and in the phone book, without success.
     A few years ago something reminded me of George. My wife and I did a search, finding an article about him with a mention that he was living in Connecticut. Then we searched telephone listings online, and finally contacted him. He was delighted to hear from me, and we talked about visiting him there sometime. Unfortunately, our next Christmas card to him was returned by his family with notice of his death. But at least I can be very grateful that I was able to talk to him one last time.
     I remember that he was a very modest and kindly soul. He never tooted his own horn or dropped names, in my memory. One time, perhaps around 1962 or 3, my family was preparing for a trip down the coast with a stop at Kitty Hawk. I guess I must have been working for George one day, and my parents came to pick me up. We started talking about our upcoming trip and the Wright brothers. George spoke about the Wrights, rather matter-of-factly, with obvious knowledge of the subject. My father asked, "Do you mean you actually KNEW the Wright brothers???" And he said, "Oh yes, I was small but I knew them well." And he described the personalities of the two - I wish I could remember those details now.
     As much as I would have liked to, I've never had the time or opportunity to get involved with aircraft design, much less build a plane myself, even though I'm an avid DIY-er and woodworker. Therefore, George G Spratt is someone whom I look up to with admiration and a bit of awe. "What a guy" is scarcely an adequate statement.
Jim Macaulay
     If you search for "George A. Spratt", using the Google search engine, (9-1-07), you will find about 174 links. (Back in 2004 there were only 71).The one featured immediately below is probably the best place to start, but if time permits, you will be rewarded by visiting some of the others.
     "This website is dedicated to the memory of Dr. George A. Spratt and his son, George G. Spratt, who each made remarkable contributions to help realize mankind's desire to fly."
     We are in debt to Paul Dunlop for alerting us to this remarkable and comprehensive website. Although the original website appears to have disappeared from the net, we can visit an archived copy courtesy of the "" group.      In one place, it offers the most important and helpful source of materials on the life and career of George A. Spratt which I have been able to find. Among the some 16 sections which are available are: Spratt and Chanute, Some Early Spratt Aircraft, EAA Articles by George Spratt, Spratt and the Wrights, and much, much more. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

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