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NEWS | May 23, 2021

12th Flying Training Wing honors mechanics for Aviation Maintenance Technician Day

By Benjamin Faske 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, observed May 24, honors the men and women who have worked behind the scenes making and keeping aviation possible, like the mechanics who work for the 12th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

It was created in honor of Charles Edward Taylor, the machinist who built the engine that powered Orville and Wilbur Wright’s historic flight in North Carolina, Dec. 17, 1903.

A machinist by trade, with a metal lathe, drill press, and other hand tools, Taylor built the 12-horsepower engine, which propelled the Wright’s aeroplane 20 feet above the wind-swept North Carolina beach.

The longest flight lasted 59 seconds for a distance of 852 feet.  It took Taylor six weeks to build the engine. Taylor continued to design aircraft engines for the Wright brothers, as well as teaching them to build their own. When the first airport was established by the Wrights, he was named the airport manager.