COLUMBUS—Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) today applauded the Ohio Senate’s passage of House Concurrent Resolution 8, a measure that defends Ohio’s distinction as the “birthplace of aviation” and repudiates a claim made by state lawmakers in Connecticut who argued that their state deserved the title.


In 2013, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill claiming that Gustave Whitehead, not the Wright Brothers, was the person responsible for operating the first heavier-than-air machine. Evidence presented to give credence to the claim has been largely discredited by academically credentialed historians spanning several decades. This includes a supposed photograph of Mr. Whitehead operating the machine in 1901, which is inconclusive, showing only indistinct shapes.


Perales sponsored the resolution in March to preserve Ohio’s aviation heritage and further secure the Wright Brothers’ legacy.


After the Senate’s passage, Rep. Perales released the following statement:


“As Chairman of the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee (OAATC), I see this bill as part of the larger picture.  The OAATC is tasked with developing a comprehensive, strategic aerospace plan for the state, and I believe that the foundation of that plan has to include showing the country and the world that Ohioans have the ingenuity and persistence to solve problems in a big way.  The Wright Brothers, with arguably the most significant technological contribution of the 20th Century, laid the groundwork for the entire aerospace and aviation industry, and recognition of the invention of flight will be an essential component of the full package for the state.”

 
 
 
  
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