Originally published 06/27/2013
First in flight? Yeah, right.That's the message from Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who announced Wednesday that he had signed into law a measure insisting that Bridgeport resident Gustave Whitehead flew in 1901 -- two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright lifted off from Kitty Hawk, N.C.“The Governor shall proclaim a date certain in each year as Powered Flight Day to honor the first powered flight by [the Wright brothers] Gustave Whitehead and to commemorate the Connecticut aviation and aerospace industry,” reads House Bill No. 6671, which passed into law as Public Act no. 13-210 on June 25....
Originally published 06/06/2013
Are they righting a wrong or wronging the Wrights?The Connecticut Senate passed a bill just after midnight on Wednesday that would delete the Wright brothers from history, explicitly stripping recognition for the first powered flight from Orville and Wilbur and assigning it to someone else.“The Governor shall proclaim a date certain in each year as Powered Flight Day to honor the first powered flight by [the Wright brothers] Gustave Whitehead and to commemorate the Connecticut aviation and aerospace industry,” reads House Bill No. 6671, which now sits on the Governor’s desk awaiting passage into law....
Originally published 05/06/2013
If it had not been for a crushingly bad stroke of luck, Christopher Carlyon would likely be remembered as one of aviation’s greatest pioneers.As it was, the colliery worker from south Wales became one of history’s nearly men when a storm smashed his experimental aircraft before its first major flight, robbing him of a place in the record books.More than 100 years on though, his biplane is being built from scratch finally to take to the skies – or at least 10ft off the ground – and ensure Carlyon gets the recognition he deserves....
Originally published 04/02/2013
Were the Wright brothers first in flight? Read the fine print. A little-known 1948 contract between the estate of Orville Wright and the Smithsonian has the museum legally bound to call the Wright brothers first in flight: "The Smithsonian shall [not state] any aircraft ... earlier than the Wright aeroplane of 1903 ... was capable of carrying a man under its own power in controlled flight," it states.One aviation historian claims that contract is wrong, however, forcing the museum to ignore the truth. And for the first time, the museum has released the contract publicly to FoxNews.com, to let the world make its own decisions....
Originally published 03/20/2013
The ongoing battle between historians over who was really first in flight was rekindled last week.New research advances the theory that a German immigrant in Connecticut is responsible for the first powered and controlled flight, rather than the Wright brothers in North Carolina.But historians at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum are saying not so fast....But Peter Jakab [associate director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum] and his colleagues at the Smithsonian firmly believe that the Wright brothers were the first to fly. There are clear and crisp photos to prove it. And he discounts the numerous newspaper stories about the [Connecticut] flight....
Originally published 03/13/2013
Were we wrong about the Wright Brothers?That's the shocking claim by Australian aviation historian John Brown, who told FoxNews.com he has photographic proof that German immigrant Gustav Whitehead flew over Connecticut in 1901 -- Orville and Wilbur were second.“Two years, four months, and three days before the Wright brothers, somebody else flew first,” Brown said via phone from Germany. "It’s really a radical revision of the history of aviation."Even “Jane’s: All the World’s Aircraft” -- widely considered the essential bible of flight -- has acknowledged Whitehead's achievement and Brown's research. With the headline "justice delayed is justice denied," editor-in-chief Paul Jackson wrote about the early aviator's story for the overview to the newly released 100th edition of the reference guide, published online on Saturday....
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