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Charles Edward Taylor is recognized as the first aircraft maintenance technician and is best known for helping the Wright brothers achieve flight for the first time in 1903.
Charles, better known as Charlie, was born in Cerro Gordo, Ill. on May 24, 1868. He moved to Nebraska at a young age, where he dropped out of school to work as an errand boy for the Nebraska State Journal. He worked a few odd jobs here and there before meeting and marrying Henrietta Webbert.
The newlyweds decided to move to Henrietta’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio where Charlie opened up his own tool shop. It was through Henrietta’s family that he met Orville and Wilbur Wright. They owned a bicycle shop nearby and Henrietta’s uncle had been renting out the space to them. Upon meeting Charlie, they asked him to help make parts for their bicycles and eventually offered him a job starting at $18 a week.
Around this time, the Wright brothers began to experiment with gliders and made many trips to Kitty Hawk, N.C. After one trip in particular, they decided to call upon Charlie to build a wind tunnel to help gather more information to support their experiments. The wind tunnel was Charlie’s first direct experience with aviation and aeronautics.
A few years later, the Wright decided to build their own engine for their next project, a powered airplane. They assigned the task to Charlie, while they worked on building the airframe. Charlie constructed a 12-horsepower engine in only six weeks without any formal drawings, only sketches done by the Wrights or himself on pieces of paper.
On December 17, 1903, the Wright’s powered aircraft successfully lifted off the ground and flew 120 feet in 12 seconds, marking a crucial turning point in the world of aviation.
Oftentimes, the accomplishments of Charles E. Taylor were overlooked or overshadowed. While he was alive, he never really received the credit he deserved. The same is true for aviation maintenance technicians today. They work hard behind the scenes to provide safety for all passengers.
May 24th has been declared an official day of recognition for aviation maintenance technicians everywhere. This date is not only the birthdate of Charles E. Taylor, but also celebrates the work modern-day AMTs perform every day.
Scholarships are monetary awards given to students to help fund their education. In most cases, students are not required to pay this money back! There are a multitude of different scholarships students can apply for to help pay for tuition at National Aviation Academy.
Some scholarships are to be used strictly for tuition, but others can go toward books, housing or other expenses. Other scholarships are intended for specialized training courses on certain types of aircraft that can help a student get ahead in their hands-on training. Students choose to attend these courses if they are planning on working for a company that services a particular type of aircraft.
Tips on applying:
- Begin doing your research on scholarships as soon as possible.
- Confirm that scholarships will be accepted at a Part-147 aircraft maintenance school.
- Be weary of deadlines. Use a calendar to stay organized and keep all deadline dates in mind.
- Double check that you met all of the requirements before submitting applications. Some scholarships may require you to write an essay, others you simply just have to apply for.
- Keep searching for scholarships throughout your time in school. New scholarships are posted every day!
- Use your resources on campus. Financial aid officers may know about some scholarships that aren’t posted online.
Here are some resources to help you get started on your scholarship search:
Fastweb: Fastweb is a scholarship matching service and a great place to begin your search. After signing up for an account, you are matched with scholarships you already qualify for and news ones are sent straight to your email inbox each week.
The following links contain scholarships for students pursuing an education in aviation maintenance: