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updated: 10/24/2013 12:09 PM

Three states tussle over bragging rights to 1st flight

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  • This undated picture provided by the Weisskopf Museum shows Aviation Pioneer Gustave Whitehead with daughter Rose in front of his "No. 21".

      This undated picture provided by the Weisskopf Museum shows Aviation Pioneer Gustave Whitehead with daughter Rose in front of his "No. 21".

  • This undated picture provided by the Weisskopf Museum shows a portrait of aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead. Outer Banks, held news conferences contesting the Connecticut claim.

      This undated picture provided by the Weisskopf Museum shows a portrait of aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead. Outer Banks, held news conferences contesting the Connecticut claim.

  • Orville and Wilbur Wright test their airplane on a beach. The Wright brothers have long been credited as the first to achieve powered flight. But in June, 2013, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a law giving German-born aviator and Connecticut resident Gustave Whitehead the honor of being first.

      Orville and Wilbur Wright test their airplane on a beach. The Wright brothers have long been credited as the first to achieve powered flight. But in June, 2013, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a law giving German-born aviator and Connecticut resident Gustave Whitehead the honor of being first.

 
Associated Press

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.

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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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