The Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association is honored and proud to announce that Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, has agreed to accept a bronze bust of Charles E. Taylor. This bust, like our previous two bust donations, will be created by the talented artist Virginia Hess. The bust will be donated later in 2007 during one of the many events celebrating the University's 40th anniversary.
A link has been created on the AMTA web site, www.AMTAUSA.com, which will show the progress of donations towards the purchase of this wonderful bronze bust.
The AMTA is a non-profit organization, 501(c)6, and was created to promote to the public the proud craft and profession of the Aircraft Maintenance Technician, AMT. The first Aircraft Mechanic was Charles E. Taylor. Mr. Taylor, or "Charlie", was the Wright Brothers mechanic. Sadly history almost forgot the contributions that Charlie made to aviation. When Orville and Wilbur needed an engine to power their Wright Glider they were unable to find a manufacturer who could build one to their specifications. This is when they turned to Charlie. Having helped build and assemble a lot of the parts for the Wright Flyer the Wrights asked Charlie if he could build the engine. The answer was, "Sure."
Starting from a solid block of metal and using basic tools such as a drill, lathe and some simple hand tools Charlie built the first aircraft engine and all this from a rough drawing made on a napkin! The Wrights determined they needed an engine that could not weigh more than 180 pounds and had to deliver 8-9 horsepower. With the skill, knowledge and integrity Charlie possessed he provided the Wrights with a four cylinder engine with four inch stroke and four inch bore weighing 150 pounds and delivering 13 horsepower on the brake. All this was done in only six weeks! This engine was more than capable of carrying the weight of 625 pounds of machines and man.
In December 1903 history was made. But history almost forgot the man who helped turn the Wright Glider into the Wright Flyer. After more than 100 years of aviation it is long past the time where Charles E. Taylor deserves recognition. Although Orville and Wilbur always gave Charlie the credit for his contributions history has made him little more than a foot note. Charlie deserves better!
Charles E. Taylor created a profession whereby the very nature of this profession recognition is not noted by the public. Thousands of skilled and professional men and women have followed in Charlie's footsteps. These men and women like, Charles E. Taylor, carry the burden of an incredible weight. That weight is aircraft safety. Today's Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, from manufacturing to overhaul to line maintenance, do not seek the lime light. Just the opposite! Like Charlie did over 100 years ago, today's AMTs take their craft seriously and with pride.
Charles E. Taylor is aviation's forgotten man. But not to U.S. aircraft mechanics, nor to Virginia Krause-Hess.
Charles Taylor bust to be donated to the Smithsonian Institute's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Efforts underway to raise funds for a third bust to be donated to Wright State University.
On Tuesday March 2, 2010, the U.S. Air Force Academy accepted a bronze bust of Charles E. Taylor from the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association.
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