On behalf of our members, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA donated a bust of Charles E. Taylor to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA on August 11, 2010. The bust, which will be on display in the museum’s Red Barn exhibit, is intended to increase the awareness of Charles E. Taylor’s historical contributions to aviation as well as the vital role that today’s Aircraft Maintenance Technicians play in making air transportation safe and reliable.
The donation was made possible through the generosity of the AMFA Locals: 11 in Dallas, TX; 14 in Seattle,WA; 18 in Houston, TX; 32 in Phoenix, AZ; and AMFA National.
Charles E. Taylor worked for the Wright Brothers in their bicycle shop in Dayton, OH. When the Wright Brothers could not find an engine that produced enough horsepower and was light enough to meet their requirements, they turned to “Charlie.” Charlie manufactured the engine, which exceeded their expectations, used to power the 1903 Wright Flyer in the world’s first powered flight. He also built the wind tunnel that the Wright’s used in testing and determining the correct shape for wings and propellers.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) credit Charles E. Taylor as being the first aviation mechanic and have created the “Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award,” an honor bestowed on licensed aircraft mechanics that have achieved 50 years in the aircraft maintenance industry. Present at the museum were five of the six Alaska Airlines Mechanics who have received the award.
Alaska Airlines co-sponsored the event and dedicated one of their 737-800 aircraft in recognition of Charles Taylor and their 650 Aircraft Technicians. The aircraft features a decal next to the L1 entry door with a picture of Taylor, a graphic of the 1903 Wright Flyer, the AMFA union logo, and the words “Alaska Airlines Salutes its Technicians.”
The following day Alaska Airlines held a barbecue lunch at the Seattle Hangar and declared the day “Aircraft Technician Recognition Day.”