Early Flight In Nebraska
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).
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 snapshot of an article briefly describing how Charles E. Taylor found his way from Lincoln, NE, to Dayton, OH, and the Wright Brothers.
Charles Taylor pictured working on a Wright Model A Flyer, c.1908
Backstory and Context
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. https://www.libraries.wright.edu/community/outofthebox/2015/05/24/aviation-maintenance-technician-day/.
History Nebraska, RG3882
History Nebraska, http://www.e-nebraskahistory.org/images/thumb/1/10/RG2929-PH000000-000019_SFN104013_1w.jpg/800px-RG2929-PH000000-000019_SFN104013_1w.jpg
Federal Aviation Administration
Wright State University, MS 1/39/45, https://www.libraries.wright.edu/community/outofthebox/files/2015/05/ms1_39_45_CharlesTaylor.jpg