• The Wright Brothers' Mechanic Profiled in Aug. 14 Lecture and Book Signing at The Museum of Flight

The Wright Brothers' Mechanic Profiled in Aug. 14 Lecture and Book Signing at The Museum of Flight

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Author Peter Unitt presents "Charles E. Taylor - The World's First
Aircraft Mechanic"

SEATTLE, Aug. 3, 2010--An Aug. 14 lecture and book signing by Peter J. Unitt looks at the man who put the power into the Wright Brothers first powered flight--Charlie Taylor. The presentation is based upon Unitt's biography of Taylor, "An American Original - Charlie Taylor." Taylor was a skilled machinist who helped the Wrights run their bicycle shop at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio around the turn of the 20th century. After failing to find an adequate manufacturer for a motor for their first powered aircraft, the Wrights called on Taylor to assist in designing and building an engine. He made the historic 12-horsepower engine in only six weeks. Taylor stayed with the Wrights for years, devising bigger and better engines, yet his unique place in aviation history has only recently been recognized. Unitt's lecture is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the Museum.

Peter J. Unitt
Peter J. Unitt was born and raised in England shortly before World War II. He served in the Royal Air Force until emigrating to the U.S. in 1960. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, eventually serving in flight test programs and managing emerging weapons systems programs. After his retirement in 1991, Unitt began writing about aviation history. He coauthored "Charles E. Taylor - The World's First Aircraft Mechanic" with machinist and inventor Howard R. DuFour.

Charles E. Taylor Sculpture at The Museum of Flight
On Aug. 11 the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) and Alaska Airlines will donate a bronze bust of Charles E. Taylor to The Museum of Flight. The sculpture will be on permanent display in a gallery devoted to the Wright Brothers and the early history of aviation.

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The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the William E. Boeing Red Barn® - the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing displays 28 World War I and World War II aircraft from the United States and other countries including Germany, Russia, and Japan. Over 30 aircraft representing the first century of aviation are displayed in the all-glass T.A. Wilson Great Gallery. The evolution of space flight and a look into the future are presented in the exhibit, Space: Exploring the New Frontier. The Airpark includes outdoor displays including the first jet Air Force One, a supersonic Concorde airliner and the prototype Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Interactive displays in The Flight Zone provide educational and entertaining activities for young children. The Museum's aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs--the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only air and space museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.
 
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