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Connecticut Says It Was Their State That Had the First Flight in History

Getty Images, photo by National Archives

Last week it came up again, who was the first person to fly in an airplane? Connecticut says it was their state, not North Carolina, that had the first flight by German immigrant Gustav Whitehead. They claim August 14, 1901 was when Whitehead flew at an altitude of 50 feet for a half a mile. The date is two years earlier than the Wright Brothers.

Despite an article in the newspaper from 1901, the Bridgeport Herald, historians note there is not a photograph of the flight, which surely would have been taken. The most knowledgeable source on early flight is Jane’s All World’s Aircraft in England and Editor Paul Jackson believes Whitehead may be the first saying he doesn’t think the newspaper and dozens of others lied in 1901. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is skeptical, saying the proof would be in the picture. For now it remains the Wright Brothers for they are the only documented for the first flight in history.

Npr.org

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