Smithsonian asked to nullify Wright Brothers first in flight contract

Tonight on Bridgeport Now, the author of a “letter of demand,” Susan O’Dwyer Brinchman, will call into the TV program to discuss this letter, the Smithsonian and John Brown’s research on Gustave Whitehead. This program can be seen locally in Fairfield and Bridgeport on Cablevision Channel 88 and also live on the Internet at tonight, at 8.

Bridgeport Now was first to break the story nationally on Gustave Whitehead first in flight news by Jane’s aviation authority Paul Jackson.

The Wright Brothers have long been considered to be first in flight, that is until a world aviation authority stated otherwise recently. And now the focus is on the Smithsonian Institution, which disagrees. A letter of demand today is now released to the press, requesting action.

Jane’s All the World Aircraft’s editor Paul Jackson declared on March 8, that the Wright Brothers were not first in flight and that the evidence provided by Historian John Brown ( is adequate proof of this correction of in aviation history.

Brown’s research is based on the extensive investigation by the late Stella Randolph of Maryland and William. J. O’Dwyer of Connecticut, whose daughter and research assistant is releasing a letter of demand to investigate and ultimately nullify the “secret” contract made between Smithsonian and Orville Wright’s executors.

The contract, uncovered in 1976 by William J. O’Dwyer using a FOI, assisted by then-Connecticut Sen. Lowell Weicker, essentially requires that, in order to receive the Smithsonian’s top exhibit, the popularly named airplane “the Wright Flyer” for $1, the Smithsonian and all its affiliates (about 200 at this writing) must credit the Wrights as first-to-fly, and if they do not, the plane will be returned to the Wright heirs.

The letter of demand is not based on the question of who flew first, but that the contract interferes with the Smithsonian’s objective evaluation of history, in direct opposition with its mission, values and strategic plan to discover history and share it.

It is the opinion of many, including O’Dwyer, the contract has been a roadblock to evaluating early aviation efforts and crediting strong contenders for first-to-fly, despite Smithsonian officials’ claims to the contrary.

Vie the full Wright Brothers Smithsonian contract

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