EARLY THIS YEAR, the aviation history world was rocked by an announcement from the
prestigious Jane’s Information Group. ;e UK-based publisher of authoritative references
on aviation, military, and naval subjects stood orthodoxy on its head by declaring that the
Wright Brothers were not the first to achieve powered, controlled flight. Jane’s cited the work
of researcher John Brown, an Australian working in Europe, stating that Gustave Whitehead
(1874-1927) made a controlled flight in his own aircraft in 1901, more than two
years before the Wrights’ success.
?first to fly ;e controversy heats up BY BARRETT TILLMAN