Right: At the Aug. 14 event, Andy Kosch will display his replica of Whitehead’s airplane that Kosch himself flew successfully 25 years ago.
On Aug. 14, 1901, two years before the Wright Brothers, Gustave Whitehead, a German immigrant to Bridgeport, flew his powered aircraft unassisted a distance of a half mile in the skies over Bridgeport, truly being the first in flight.
Or so says a release from Bridgeport’s Discovery Museum, which on Aug. 14 will unveil a new exhibit, “Bridgeport: First in Flight.”
The 110th anniversary of Whitehead’s historic flight will be celebrated along with the innovations of helicopter aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky, and Frisbee.
The new exhibit will featuring a historic collection of Whitehead’s memorabilia and personal documents.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch is expected to teleconference live with the mayor of Leutershausen, Bavaria, Germany, Burgermeister Herr Siegfried Hess, and representatives of the Gustave Whitehead Museum. Professor Herbert Pietschmann from Vienna will moderate the proceedings.
Noted historians will lecture at various times throughout the day, presenting evidence that Whitehead was in fact first in flight. Audience questions will be taken at each session.
Andy Kosch will display his replica of Whitehead’s airplane that Kosch himself flew successfully 25 years ago. George “Doc” Gunther, noted Whitehead enthusiast and founder of the Connecticut Air & Space Center, will be an honored guest.
Next door in Veterans Park, Bridgeport’s new Frisbee Golf Course will open with a “Frisbee Festival,” featuring freestyle demonstrations, distance and accuracy competitions, Frisbee dogs exhibitions, live music and other family entertainment also are planned.
Meanwhile, in the spirit of celebrating German design and engineering, Black Horse Garage is lending a 1965 Porsche 350SC and 1968 Mercedes Benz 300 SL for the day. Bridgeport’s Black Horse Garage is recognized as a leading restorer of vintage and historic vehicles.
Admission to the Discovery Museum and “Bridgeport: First in Flight” is free. Some activities may require a small admission.
For more information, visit The Discover Museum online or call 203-372-3521.