States Brawl Over First Flight Bragging Rights

— Ohio and North Carolina are drawing a line on the tarmac in the debate over who was the first to fly.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a law last summer saying German-born aviator and Connecticut resident Gustave Whitehead was the first to make a powered flight. The law says it happened two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright, both from Ohio, lifted off on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Ohio state Rep. Rick Perales and North Carolina state Sen. Bill Cook held news conferences Thursday to dispute Connecticut’s action and reassert the Wright Brothers were first in flight.

Perales says the claim of Whitehead supporters has surfaced before and is based on an inconclusive photograph. He represents the district where the Wright Brothers had a hanger and tested planes.

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