National Geographic Chronicles Wright Brothers Historic Nosedive, Whitehead’s Flight

National Geographic examines Bridgeport's Gustave Whitehead.

The Smithsonian cut a sleazy deal with the Wright brothers to name them first in flight. National Geographic examines Bridgeport’s aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead’s place in history.

An iconic piece of American history took a nosedive when the 100th-anniversary issue of an annual aviation bible known as Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft displaced the Wright brothers as the first fathers of flight.

The new name in town is Gustave Whitehead, a German-born inventor many have long believed took to the air more than two years before Orville and Wilbur even left the ground at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903.

Read more here.



  1. Good news. Now let’s bring the historian to Bridgeport. We need to raise funds to do so.

    One thing for sure, historical research and creating online archival exhibits are good for Bridgeport.

    I was pleased to see this National Geographic News article refers to one of the websites I built, , which was created with consultation with the historian. Using XML programming to prevent obsolescence, and picked up by Wikipedia, it is the first and only site to display the once-secret Wright-Smithsonian contract in searchable text.

    It is wonderful to see Bridgeport getting recognized around the world! We captured the moment when the news broke on our weekly live TV show:

  2. I’d like to see one of those big billboards at the Arena to showcase Bridgeport and Stratford’s role in aviation history. Perhaps: “Bridgeport/Stratford: Where Flight Was Invented” with a picture of Gustave’s plane, the Corsair and Sikorsky’s helicopter! Something to be proud of instead of the Remington Factory, Steelpointe, etc.


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