Connecticut to honor aviator it says beat the Wright Brothers to flight

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Following the Wright brothers first flights at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903, the brothers needed space back home in Dayton to continue work on their flying machine. Huffman Prairie Flying Field fit the bill and became the sight of innovation of the world’s first practical airplane.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

BRIDGEPORT - Connecticut officials will gather in Bridgeport to honor an aviator they proclaim beat the Wright brothers by two years in being the first in flight.

A ceremony is scheduled Monday to recognize Gustave Whitehead and the 116th anniversary of what state officials have called the "first manned, controlled flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft."

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A replica of Whitehead's aircraft will be displayed, and political leaders will read proclamations.

Connecticut officials say the German-born Whitehead, who lived in Bridgeport and Fairfield, took off in Fairfield on Aug. 14, 1901, and flew about a half mile at a height of about 50 feet. The Wright brothers' flight was in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

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