Charlie Taylor

1868 – 1956

Charlie Taylor built the engines that were used on the early Wright airplanes. He began working with the Wrights by serving as the bicycle shop repairman while the brothers were off on their flight experiments. When the experiments had progressed sufficiently so that the specifications for the airplane engine could be determined, it was decided that a motor with 8 horsepower and weighing 180 pounds was needed. After attempts to find such an engine failed, Wilbur, Orville, and Charlie decided to build their own. Much of the machine work was done by Taylor, who between Christmas 1902 and June 1903 built a 13 horsepower engine weighting a mere 130 pounds at a time when internal combustion engine technology was in its infancy. Obviously, the engine worked as planned, the
experiment was a success and Charlie Taylor earned a spot in the honor role of aviation pioneers.