Gustave Whitehead

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Whitehead in 1901
Whitehead gliding in 1908

Gustave Whitehead (1874–1927), inventor in Germany under then name Gustav Weißkopf, moved to Connecticut. Developed a large number of experimental airplanes and reported flights in Whitehead No. 21 and Whitehead No. 22.

Zahm writes:

From the accredited reports it appears that Mr. Whitehead accomplished: (1) the first high flight, (2) the first long flight, (3) first closed-circuit flight, (4) first flight over and landing on water, (5) first with passenger, (6) first with internal combustion engine. And all at a time when no other plane on earth was making any sustained hops at all.[1]

The controversy over Whitehead's priority rages to this day.[2]



  1. Zahm, 1944, pp. 350–352.
  2. Carroll F. Gray; "Paul Jackson's Editorial Endorsement of Gustave Whitehead & Rebuttal"; Jane’s Points Finger at Editor, Huffington Post, 23 April 2015.
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