The question of who was the first to fly is not nearly as clear as one would believe from reading High School text books. We have all been taught that the Wright Brothers were the first to achieve powered flight in 1903. More recently, some doubt has arisen, and there is some strong evidence that Gustave Whitehead achieved powered flight in 1901. The evidence is strong enough that the prestigious aviation magazine "Jane's" appears to be coming out in support of Whitehead being the first to fly. Adding intrigue to the controversy is the contract between the Wright Brothers and the Smithsonian Institute. The contract legally requires the museum to declare the Wrights the first to fly . . . "The Smithsonian shall [not state] any aircraft ... earlier than the Wright aeroplane of 1903 ... was capable of carrying a man under its own power in controlled flight, . . ." Well, once you get the Smithsonian to sign something like that, you are pretty much Golden, whether or not you were really the first to fly.