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|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.