Fairfield Celebrates Gustave Whitehead With Display Of Replica Airplane

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A display of a full-size replica of Gustave Whitehead’s Condor 21 airplane will be held at Sherman Green Aug. 14.
A display of a full-size replica of Gustave Whitehead’s Condor 21 airplane will be held at Sherman Green Aug. 14. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – A full-size replica of Gustave Whitehead’s Condor 21 airplane will be displayed on Thursday, Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Sherman Green, at Post and Reef Road in Fairfield.

Aug. 14 will be “Gustave Whitehead Day” in Fairfield as proclaimed by First Selectman MikeTetreau.

Thursday marks the 113th anniversary of Whitehead’s 1901 “First in Flight” in Fairfield, which took place two years before the 1903 Wright Brothers flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Whitehead drove his plane from Bridgeport to Fairfield to make his first flight, which landed in what is now Jennings Beach.

The annual aviation publication “Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft” proclaimed Whitehead as the first man to fly a plane, making Fairfield the location for the first motorized heavier-than-air flight.

Fairfield resident Andy Kosch led a team that built and flew the replica of Whitehead’s airplane in 1986, proving the airworthiness of the design.

 “Whitehead’s first in flight is exciting and very meaningful for our community and puts Fairfield in the spotlight with the most important milestone in aviation history,” said Tetreau.

For more information on Whitehead, click here

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Very glad that Whitehead is getting more recognition, however the facts are being mixed up. No one interviewed and no newspaper account of his era EVER said he landed on Jennings Beach for the Aug. 14th 1901 flight. That is just plain unsubstantiated nonsense. Please check your source for this. As one closely involved in the Whitehead research and present for some of the witness interviews, I know it is necessary to set the record straight, historically. Demand proof when someone gives you information like that. Further, I suggest a monument in Fairfield Center or on the Town Green, where the public will see it year round and it will not be as subject to vandalism. Historical accuracy must be demanded for any and all "historic" sites.

Shame they allowed the house to be torn down . History there--I will bet that if it was Down Town or in Southport it would have been preserved as a Historic site---Being in Tunxis Hill it had no choice!!