The THREE Who Flew at Kitty Hawk: Charlie Taylor and the Wright Brothers Engine

Friday, October 13, 2023

11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Room 441 Dunbar Library

Register Now

Image of Charlie Taylor
Charlie Taylor
Image from the Wright Brothers Collection

Join us as Dr. Rubin Battino tells the story of Charles E. Taylor, the mechanical genius who built – in 36 days – the engine that powered the Wright Flyer in 1903. Using numerous original slides, he will discuss the design and construction of the engine, along with other interesting material from Taylor’s life. The talk will include biographical information about Charlie Taylor, the construction of the 1903 engine, and two movies – one of Charlie Taylor talking and one of a replica of the engine running.

This talk will also include a section entitled, “the Flight of the Vin Fiz,” the fascinating story of Calbraith Perry Rodgers, the first man to fly across the United States. Taylor was Rodgers’ mechanician for this historic flight, which he made in 1911 to win a prize of $50,000 offered by William Randolph Hearst. Rodgers ultimately did not win the prize, but he made aviation history.

Dr. Battino, an emeritus professor of chemistry, served on the faculty at Wright State University from 1966 to 1995, and helped construct the full-size replica of the Wright Flyer that now hangs in the atrium of the Dunbar Library. He has given many presentations on the Wright brothers and Charlie Taylor in the United States and abroad. He was named “Speaker of the Year” by the Royal New Zealand Aeronautical Society and was a special speaker at Farnham Air Force Base in the UK.

The talk is cosponsored by the Wright State University Retirees Association and the Friends of the Libraries. The presentation is free and open to the public. Registration is required and must be completed by Tuesday, October 10.