Bridgeport’s Discovery Museum today marked what many believe is the 117th anniversary of Gustave Whitehead’s historic half a mile flight at an altitude of 50 feet on Aug. 14, 1901. In 2013, Connecticut passed a law recognizing Whitehead’s achievement as the first to fly a powered airplane and Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft Editor Paul Jackson declared that Gustave Whitehead flew two years prior to the Wright Brothers. And this past weekend, Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau issued a proclamation honoring Whitehead.
“The Discovery Museum doesn’t determine who flew first, but we are proud to tell the story of Gustave Whitehead’s aviation legacy and to display a half-scale model of his plane,” said Bill Finch, executive director of the Discovery Museum and former Bridgeport mayor and state senator. “Whitehead’s incredible accomplishments here in Bridgeport serve as reminders, especially to our young visitors, that they should dream big and discover.”