- Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - An aviator who Connecticut officials say beat the Wright brothers in being the first in flight by two years has been honored.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim and other officials joined family members of Gustave Whitehead in the city Monday to recognize him and the 116th anniversary of what state officials have called the “first manned, controlled flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft.”

Connecticut officials say the German-born Whitehead, who lived in Bridgeport and Fairfield, took off from Fairfield on Aug. 14, 1901, and flew about a half mile at a height of about 50 feet (15 meters). The Wright brothers’ flight was in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Officials in North Carolina and the Wright brothers’ home state of Ohio dispute the claims about Whitehead.

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