First Selectman Mike Tetreau announced today that on Thursday, August 14, 2014 from 10 am to
6 pm a full-size replica of Gustave Whitehead’s Condor 21 airplane will be displayed on Sherman Green for the public to view. Sherman Green is located at the corner of Post and Reef Roads in Fairfield.
August 14th marks the 113th anniversary of Whitehead’s 1901 historic “First in Flight” in Fairfield, which took place prior to the 1903 flight of the Wright Brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Whitehead literally drove his plane from Bridgeport to Fairfield to make his first flight which successfully landed in the area of what is now Jennings Beach.
After much research, Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft proclaimed Gustave Whitehead as the first man to fly a plane making Fairfield the location for the first motorized heavier than air flight.
Andy Kosch, a Fairfield resident, who 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 Whitehead critics wanted to find a way to honor Gustave 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.
At the August 6, 2014 Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectman Tetreau will issue a proclamation proclaiming August 14, 2014 as “Gustave Whitehead Day” in the Town of Fairfield. Mr. Kosch will be present at the Board of Selectmen meeting to give an update on Gustave Whitehead.
First Selectman Tetreau said, “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.
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, the public may 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 at http://www.gustave-whitehead.com.