Connecticut officially recognizes Gustave Whitehead as first to fly
This undated picture provided by the Weisskopf Museum shows Aviation Pioneer Gustave Whitehead with daughter Rose in front of his 'No. 21'.
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, June 26, 2013 5:27PM EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. - A U.S. state now officially recognizes a German-born man as the first to fly, upending the traditional story of the Wright brothers.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday he signed into law a measure insisting that German-born aviator and state resident Gustave Whitehead flew in 1901 -- two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright lifted off in North Carolina.
Whitehead's supporters say they're correcting a historical mistake. Supporters of the Wright brothers, including the Smithsonian Institution that houses the brothers' historic plane, say those claims are wrong.
Interest in Whitehead has followed a documentary by an Australian historian.
Jane's All the World's Aircraft, an industry publication, recently cited contemporary news accounts in concluding that Whitehead beat the Wright brothers into the air.