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|Mark Maxwell||RE: Ben Epps first flight|
Since you wrote the original, I think you should be the one to submit it. The article in A&S is about 5 pages long, and is probably still available at book stores. Lots of more interesting information, such as his early morning (~3:00 AM) check-out flight before the one later in the day to be sure it was working OK. That one did, but unfortunately the one with the reporters didn't. There is a photo of the crash in the article.
|Mark Maxwell||Ben Epps first flight|
A recent research article published by the Smithsonian Institution's "Air & Space" magazine (MAY2017) has determined the first flight took place on 28AUG1909 as reported in several Georgia and North Carolina newspapers. The research of a photo of Epps with his aircraft revealed the 1907 date on the photo was incorrect, since two buildings in the background were not built until 1908 and 1909.
Ben Epps piloted the first monoplane aircraft in the United States. He and Zumpt Huff quickly decided that a biplane was harder to control after the crash of their first aircraft, deciding that a biplane was too rigid for wing-warping control method. They decided to build a monoplane after corresponding with Louis Bleriot following his Channel flight in 1909. Unlike Bleriot's tractor-type aircraft, Epps and Huff had also met with Glenn Curtis who suggested a pusher-type arrangement for propulsion.