Discovery Museum celebrates 'First in Flight' on Aug. 17

Is aviation history being rewritten? Now recognized by the internationally renowned publication Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft as the first to pilot a heavier-than-air aircraft two years before the Wright brothers, German immigrant Gustave Whitehead has captured the attention of Connecticut and the international aviation community as the debate of who was first in flight continues.

The Discovery Museum & Planetarium is celebrating the 112th anniversary of Gustave Whitehead’s historic flight on Saturday, Aug. 17.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature presentations by aviation historian John Brown, actor and Whitehead enthusiast John Ratzenberger and pilot and builder of the replica Whitehead airplane Andy Kosch.

Weather permitting, the replica of Gustave Whitehead Flyer “No. 21,” which Kosch successfully flew, will be on display.

Planetarium shows, model airplane clubs, educational demonstrations for children and a tethered flight of museum’s high altitude balloon are slated. Guests are invited to explore the new “First in Flight” exhibit, featuring period photographs, news articles and personal accounts of Whitehead and his 1901 flight on the beaches of Bridgeport.

The museum’s more than 100 hands-on, interactive exhibits will be open to the public.

Event sponsors include Fairfield Museum & History Center and Stratford’s Connecticut Air and Space Center.

For more information, visit or call 203-372-3521.