FAIRFIELD, Conn. - For one day only, the replica of famed Fairfield resident Gustave Whitehead's plane will be on display in the Sherman Green until 6 p.m. Thursday for the first annual Gustave Whitehead Day in Fairfield.
Whitehead's plane is believed by local historians to have been the first to fly in the country. His feat occurred two years before the 1903 flight of the Wright Brothers in Kitty Hawk, N.C.
According to historians, Whitehead drove his plane from Bridgeport to Fairfield to make his first flight, which successfully landed in the area of what is now Jennings Beach, making Whitehead the first man to fly a motorized plane.
The public is invited to view a replica of the first plane on the 113th anniversary of the 1901 flight in Fairfield.
Fairfield resident Andy Kosch, led a team that built and flew a replica of Gustave Whitehead’s airplane in 1986 proving the airworthiness of the design and refuting many critics. Kosch wanted to find a way to honor Whitehead, who had lived in at least two different homes in Fairfield, including a home he built on Alvin Street some years after the first flight.
“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," First Selectman Michael Tetreau said. "Fairfield is very proud that one of our own has made history through his ingenuity and leap of faith. We continue to honor Gustave Whitehead and his unforgettable legacy.”
For more information on Whitehead, contact the Fairfield First Selectman’s Office at 203-256-3030 or the Fairfield Museum and History Center at 203-259-1598.
In addition, the public can learn more about this historic first flight online.