Official Nebraska Government Website
Official Nebraska Government Website

NDOT, Division of Aeronautics
Mr. Ronnie Mitchell, Director

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Charles Edward Taylor was born in Illinois, May 24, 1868. At age ten he moved with his family to Lincoln where he attended the Lincoln Public Schools. In 1890 Taylor moved to Kearney where he fabricated metal house numbers. In 1901 he worked for the Wright Cycle Company repairing bicycles, allowing the Wright brothers to concentrate on their aeronautical work. He worked with them to design the engine for their glider. Taylor built the engine while Orville and Wilbur built the frame. The engine was built in six weeks, weighed 170 pounds, and produced twelve horsepower at 1,025 revolutions per minute. On December 17, 1903 the first sustained powered flight was accomplished by Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk, NC. The dawn of powered flight had arrived. Taylor died in 1956 and was interred in the Portal of Folded Wings, Valhalla Aviation Memorial in Burbank, CA. In 1965 Taylor was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, OH as the world’s First Airplane Mechanic. The Charles Taylor “Master Mechanic” Award Program, recognizing the “unsung heroes of aviation” who have served at least fifty years in aviation maintenance, was introduced by the Federal Aviation Administration in 1993.  May 24, 2003, the 135th anniversary of his birth, will be declared “Aviation Maintenance Technicians Day” by a proclamation from the Governor of the State of Nebraska.



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