Thursday, June 06, 2013

Let's hear it for Connecticut!

In 1901 (2 years before the Wright Brothers flew at Kittyhawk) Gustave Whitehead built and flew a plane in Fairfield, CT. I learned about this event some 40 years ago from my then science school teacher, Andy Kosch, who (in ’86) went on to build and fly a replica of Gustave's “Old #21.”

Andy has been actively attempting to get this fact acknowledged for years, He even operated a small Gustave Whitehead museum at Captain’s Cove in Bridgeport for a number of years, and the replica he had build has been on display over at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport for several years.

Well, a couple of years back I wrote a short story about that event which appeared in an anthology of historic, mythic and legendary characters entitled Iconic. I have since had that short story — First in Flight —reprinted through Pronto Comics and that comic is now available as an 8-page stand-alone comicbook. The comic was illustrated by Rick Lundeen.

On Earth Day this year Andy invited me to join him for an event at Fairfield Ward high school where Andy's replica of Old #21 was on display. There I sold several copies of the Gustave Whitehead comic I produced. Later on this month (June 15thI'll be appearing at an aeronautical museum on Long Island with Pronto Comics selling more copies!

Recently a gentleman named John Brown wrote in Jane’s all the world’s Aircraft (the foremost authority of all things aeronautical) that, yes, Gustave flew first. Yesterday, the Connecticut state Senate passed a bill acknowledging that historically provable fact. This is so cool!
The Connecticut Senate passed a bill just after midnight on Wednesday that would delete the Wright brothers from history, explicitly stripping recognition for the first powered flight from Orville and Wilbur and assigning it to someone else.
“The Governor shall proclaim a date certain in each year as Powered Flight Day to honor the first powered flight by [the Wright brothers] Gustave Whitehead and to commemorate the Connecticut aviation and aerospace industry,” reads House Bill No. 6671, which now sits on the Governor’s desk awaiting passage into 
(Via Fox News)


Yeah, I’m pretty excited about all of this, and am looking to secure funding to produce a longer-form comic about Gustave and his magnificent event, which I want to make available to students in the Fairfield and Bridgeport school systems (indeed, throughout all of Connecticut).

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