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  1. Gustave Albin Whitehead (born Gustav Albin Weisskopf; 1 January 1874 – 10 October 1927) was an aviation pioneer who emigrated from Germany to the United States where he designed and built gliders, flying machines, and engines between 1897 and 1915.

    • Reported flights 1901–1902
    • Louise Tuba Whitehead
    • The Legend Begins
    • Considering The Sources
    • The Legend Reborn

    Whitehead, or Weisskopf in his native language, was a German immigrant with an undeniable passion for aviation. He was reasonably skilled with his hands and worked manual jobs in Boston, New York, Buffalo, Tonawanda, Johnstown, Pittsburgh, and finally Bridgeport, Connecticut. While in Boston in 1897 he built a glider for the Boston Aeronautical Soc...

    Much of that article was inspired by a story titled "Flying" that appeared in the Bridgeport Herald on 18 August 1901. The Herald was published every Sunday and featured local Connecticut news. This particular edition reported a flight that Whitehead claimed to have made four days earlier. This story had fairly wide coverage - it went out over the ...

    Despite its implausible claims, discrepancies and contradictory sources, the Popular Aviation magazine article lit a fire under a few interested scholars. The Harvard University Committee on Research in the Social Sciences sent John Crane, a professor of economics to Connecticut. (At the time, Crane was working on a book on the history of aviation....

  2. Born Gustav Albin Weisskopf, in Germany, 1874, orphaned by the age of 12, and immigrating to the United States in 1893, Whitehead’s story is one of overcoming adversity, chronicled in the new book, “Gustave Whitehead: First in Flight”, complete with evidence of his powered flights, including new discoveries, available here.

  3. Apr 6, 2013 · Whitehead (1874-1927), a native of Leutershausen, Bavaria, who immigrated to the United States, probably in 1894, claimed to have made a sustained powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine on August 14, 1901, two years before the Wright brothers. He further claimed that he had made additional flights of two and seven miles in January 1902.

  4. Dec 17, 2021 · Some historians believe that on August 14, 1901, at Fairfield, Conn., Gustave Whitehead achieved powered flight-two years and four months before the Wrights’ first flight. Which leads to a further question: Who was Gustave Whitehead? Many voice the view that Whitehead’s work as an aviation pioneer has yet to receive a full and objective study.

  5. Gustave Whitehead Jane’s All About Airplanes ’ 2013 announcement that Gustave Whitehead should be credited with having flown in Fairfield and Stratford in 1901 puts an authoritative stamp on an achievement that had previously lacked recognition by most aviation historians.

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