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This is a contributing entry for Aviation History in Lincoln, Nebraska and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

Now known as the Nebraska Innovation Campus, this area once hosted some of the earliest experimentation of flight in the history of Lincoln.

Experimentation in flying came from all directions in Nebraska during the 1890s and early 1900s. The Baysdorfer brothers of Omaha, prolific innovators in their own right, created the Comet: a lighter-than-air airship considered to the be the first Nebraska-built one of its kind. In 1910, the Baysdorfers constructed the first Nebraska-built airplane in Omaha.

By the turn of the 20th century, Nebraskans were increasingly "air-minded." Above, a drawing fashioning an ear of corn as a dirigible (an early type of lighter-than-air aircraft similar to a blimp).

Drawing fashioning an ear of corn as a dirigible

Captain of the Nebraska National Guard Signal Corps, Ralph McMillen, was also a skilled aerial photographer. This 1915 image of the Nebraska State Capitol is one of a series taken by McMillen that also includes aerial photos of the state penitentiary and the university school of agriculture.

A sepia-colored aerial photograph of the Nebraska State Capitol building in 1915.

A snapshot of an article briefly describing how Charles E. Taylor found his way from Lincoln, NE, to Dayton, OH, and the Wright Brothers.

A snapshot of an article about and a photo of Charles E. Taylor.

Charles Taylor pictured working on a Wright Model A Flyer, c.1908

Charles Taylor pictured working on a Wright Model A Flyer, c.1908

Charles Taylor, a former Lincoln resident, assisted the Wright Brothers in their design and construction of the engine that powered the Brothers' first flight. Taylor later went onto serve as the mechanic for the first transcontinental flight in 1911.

Goeres, Vince. Kinley, Kylie. Wings Over Nebraska: Historic Aviation Photographs. University of Nebraska Press.

Taylor, Bob. Charles E. Taylor: The Man Aviation History Almost Forgot. Federal Aviation Administration.

Rickey, Lisa . Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, Out of the Box. May 24th 2015. Accessed July 11th 2021.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

History Nebraska, RG3882

History Nebraska,

Federal Aviation Administration

Wright State University, MS 1/39/45,