Twenty U.S. battleships were at anchor, as well as a Royal Navy squadron, and naval vessels from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Argentina . . . 1595 vessels total, including the R.M.S. Lusitania. Guglielmo Marconi was so excited to see Wilbur Wright that he insisted on shaking Wilbur's hand, despite being very greasy from working on his plane. Marconi was to send wireless alerts to the warships in the harbor when Wilbur and Curtiss were about to take flight so the ships could raise flags as a signal to other ships, as well as those on land.
On the next day, news from Potsdam (outside of Berlin) arrived that Orville Wright had flown at an altitude of 984 feet, which established a new record. Also that day, Curtiss announced that he was leaving in order to honor a contract in St. Louis, so the only aviator worth seeing fly up the Hudson River in the eyes of the spectators was Wilbur Wright.
On 4 October 1909, winds were 16 mph, and were forecast to increase, so Wilbur decided to fly earlier than scheduled. At 9:53 am, Wilbur took off from Governor's Island with his emergency canoe attached underneath. Signals went off alerting thousands the Wilbur was making his flight. Wilbur approached the Hudson River at an altitude of 150 feet at about 36 mph, and as Wilbur reached the Hudson, he experienced wind currents like never before. Those crosswinds were due to NYC skyscrapers, and Wilbur had to drastically drop his altitude to just a little above the ferryboats . . . and then he needed to fly a little higher as he approached the U.S. battleships.
At 10:26 am, Wilbur landed safely at Governor's Island; his airtime had been 33.5 minutes covering 20 miles with an average speed of 36 mph, despite the challenging conditions that no other flyer had ever before experienced. The little U.S. flag that his sister, Katherine, had affixed to the rudder was shredded. Much to everyone's surprise, Wilbur announced that he would fly again later in the afternoon, and flying further, circling Manhattan. However, while tinkering with the engine with Charlie Taylor, an engine piston blew off with a terrible roar, missing Wilbur's head by less that two feet. Taylor shortly afterwards said Wilbur was not only lucky not to get hit by the piston, but that it didn't happen while in the air . . . there would be no more flights by Wilbur Wright in New York City in 1909.
The Comte de Lambert flew over the top of the Eiffel Tower, then the tallest structure in the world (1300+ feet). When de Lambert landed, among the throng that waited to congratulate him were Orville and Katherine . . . de Lambert was quoted as saying, "I am the jockey, the Wright Brothers are the inventors".
The Wright Company soon became incorporated, with offices on 5th Avenue in NYC. Also, ground was broken for a Wright manufacturing plant in Dayton (OH). During this time, newspapers carried news of many pilots dying, trying to surpass the records of the Wright Brothers. Lawsuits, however, started to take more-and-more of the time of the Wright Brothers, especially Wilbur. The Wright Brothers defended their patents with great vigor, suing among other Glenn Curtiss, who had been making significant innovations to his planes.
On 25 May 1910, the Wright Brothers invited the city of Dayton (OH) to see them fly. Orville was in "daredevil" mode, featuring reaching an altitude of 2720 feet. And, for the first and only time, the Wright Brothers flew together (with Orville at the controls) . . . there was no longer any reason to deny themselves the absolute pleasure of flying together after all they did together and individually over the years. Even their father, Bishop Wright, who was in his 80's, flew with Orville, telling his son "higher, higher".
Epilogue . . . The Wright Brothers after 1909