Local Leaders Say Ohio Wrong On Wrights, Whitehead First In Flight

Whitehead was way ahead of the Wright brothers.

From City Communications Director Brett Broesder:

In Connecticut, several city and town officials today took aim at a resolution in the Ohio General Assembly that claims the Wright Brothers were first in flight. “Gustave Whitehead flew two years before the Wright Brothers,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “It’s been proven by Jane’s All the World Aircraft. A poor German immigrant made history in Bridgeport, Fairfield, and Stratford. We want to make sure Ohio legislators know the truth and stick to it.”

In Ohio, legislation was recently introduced (HCR63) to repudiate a claim made by Connecticut’s General Assembly (HR15) that Gustave Whitehead was first in flight.

“The fact that the Ohio legislature fails to recognize history is patently absurd,” said Stratford Mayor John Harkins. “They are turning their backs on science and innovation. Stratford, Fairfield and Bridgeport always have been and will remain the cradle of aviation in the United States.”

Click here for video of Mayor Harkins: youtu.be/EK18nGL89iA or bit.ly/1tmxZ25.

An article in the Bridgeport Herald from August 1901 states that Whitehead, a German immigrant and resident of Bridgeport, Conn., piloted his bird-like No. 21 flyer in a flight that kept him airborne for about a half-mile and up to an altitude of about 40 feet.

Two years later, in 1903, it was reported that Wilbur and Orville Wright flew their plane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

In March 2013, “Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft”–widely known as the bible of flying machines–officially backed Whitehead as the first man to build and fly a powered heavier-than-air aircraft, beating the Wright Brothers into the sky by more than two years.

“We are thrilled that Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, the authoritative aviation publication, recognizes new evidence that proves Gustave Whitehead was ‘First in Flight,'” said Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau. “Some people still cling to the belief that the Wright Brothers were “First in Flight” just as others believed for centuries that the world was flat. Evidence and time has proven both to be untrue.”

Click here for video of Selectman Tetreau: youtu.be/vKOHWNz-uj8 or bit.ly/1AimxLh.

Connecticut’s Governor Dan Malloy signed a resolution in 2013 recognizing Gustave Whitehead as “first in powered flight.”

“Gustave Whitehead was first in flight,” said Bridgeport City Council President Tom McCarthy. “He was first in flight. It’s backed up by leading aviation authorities in the world. The facts are there. We have the pictures. We have the documents.”

Click here for video of Bridgeport Council President Tom McCarthy: bit.ly/1I0rcBV.



  1. Who actually gives a rat’s ass about this other than these three stooges?
    This sounds more like a couple of high school jocks arguing about who has the better football team. It is totally pathetic they are wasting taxpayers’ money on this BS.

  2. Bob Walsh,
    Happy New Year to you and yours!!!
    On one hand I sense bragging rights (and the money that may follow a successful challenge to the status quo) are what is going on at this level of argument.

    But to hear Finch and McCarthy talking about the people (Ohio or CT) knowing the truth and sticking to it is to become dismayed because these two so rarely wish for people to “know the truth” of current practice, policy and process as in the practice of OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT municipal governance. Think of another aviation “truth” (about airport groundbreaking and way making), documents and reports showing what happened at the Sikorsky Airport in Stratford for example, guys? Show me the truth, will you, pretty please??? Time will tell.

  3. It’s time for a Connecticut license plate that says “The Constitution State and First in Flight.” The world’s most authoritative aviation publication has recognized Whitehead as first. The Smithsonian Institution entered into a inappropriate agreement to be able to exhibit the Wright Brothers plane. It has a clear conflict of interest and cannot be viewed as an independent party in this debate. CT, OH and NC aren’t independent either. Let the truth be told. Maybe Senator Ayala can make the new plate happen when he becomes Commissioner of DMV.


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