Rhode Island

Gustave A. Whitehead flies before Wright Brothers

Gustave A.Whitehead, the German-born inventor flew a powered-batwing aircraft on Aug. 14, 1901, in Bridgeport, Conn., two years before the Wright Brothers made their first powered flight. Photograph's of Whitehead's plane exist, though none of them show it flying, nor is there much useful evidence to prove, or disprove this claim. Although Whitehead supporters have built what they claim is a replica of his plane and have flown it on several short hops in 1986, it should be noted that blueprints of Whitehead's actual craft do not exist. Supporters of Gustave A. Whitehead are still seeking to prove this claim.

Bradley International Airport honors Eugene M. Bradley

Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, was named in honor of the late Lt. Eugene M. Bradley of the 57th Fighter Group. In commemoration, the field on which he lost his life was officially designated, on.

Gustave Whitehead
Gustave A. Whitehead,
German-born inventor

Eugene Bradley
Lt. Eugene M. Bradley in a personalized photo that he had given to his new wife.

 

Powered Batwing

Gustave A. Whitehead photographed with a Powered-Batwing aircraft

Curtiss P-40B

A Curtiss P-40B belonging to the 57th Fighter Group, and similar to the one in which Lt. Eugene Bradley met his death.

 

Aviation Firsts Logo

January 20, 1942, "Army Air Base, Bradley Field, Connecticut:" Lt. Bradley's name has remained on the airport in spite of attempts in the past to change it. Today it is known as Bradley International Airport, the principal airport in Connecticut.

"Jimmy" Viner rescues two men

The first civilian helicopter rescue took place in November 1945, off Fairfield, Connecticut. An Army R-5 was flown by Sikorsky pilot Dimitry "Jimmy" Viner to rescue two men from an oil barge that was breaking up on Penfield Reef during a storm.