COLUMBUS, Ohio—An Ohio legislative committee has passed a bill that would repudiate the claim that Gustave Whitehead flew a powered airplane in Connecticut two years before Ohio’s Wright brothers flew in North Carolina.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 11-0 in favor of Ohio House Concurrent Resolution 8 (HCR-8), according to Danielle Giannantonio, an aide to Ohio Rep. Rick Perales, the bill’s sponsor. (Click here to download the resolution.)
The bill next goes to the full House.
NAHA supported the bill in a March 24 committee hearing with testimony presented by Executive Director Tony Sculimbrene and Trustee Amanda Wright Lane, great-grandniece of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Tim Gaffney, NAHA’s communications director, also testified as author of The Dayton Flight Factory, a book about the Wright brothers.
In 2013, Connecticut’s governor signed an act proclaiming Whitehead, not the Wright brothers, the first to fly a powered, heavier-than-air flying machine. Historians have dismissed the Whitehead claim repeatedly over the years, citing a lack of convincing evidence.