Le Mans Sarthe Ceremony


On July 11th, 2008 the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Association was proud to have a bronze bust of Charles E. Taylor displayed during the Le Mans Sarthe Centennial Committee's "Pioneers of Aviation" Exhibit held at the Abbaye de l'Epau. This Abbey was founded in the 13th Century by Queen Berangaria of Navarre in 1229. This Abbey is one of the finest examples of a Cistercian building in France. The Sovereign, Dame of Le Mans lies within the Abbey. The natural and cultural beauty of this Abbey in Le Mans France was a perfect setting for celebrating the "Pioneers of Aviation" Exhibit.

Abbaye de l'Epau

Open field as you enter Abbaye de l'Epau.

Abbaye de l'Epau side entrance.

Abbaye de l'Epau back entrance.

Abbaye de l'Epau rear view.

Creek on front grounds.

Creek on front side of Abbaye de l'Epau's entrance.

Deer eating on one of the grounds at the Abbaye de l'Epau.


The Le Mans Sarthe Wright 2008 Centennial Committee organized different events celebrating the 100 year anniversary of when the Wright brothers visited France and demonstrated the Wright Flyer and the wing warping technology they developed.

The Le Mans Sarthe Wright 2008 Centennial Committee recognized and also honored Charles E. Taylor for his contributions to aviation as being the man who provided the "power" in controlled, POWERED flight. On July 11th the Le Mans Sarthe Wright Centennial Committee kicked off the evening's events with speeches by the United States Ambassador to France, Mr. Craig Stappleton, Astonaut Buzz Aldrin, Vice-president du senate/President du Conseil general de la Sarthe Monsieur Roland du Luart, prefet de la Sarthe Monsieur Michel Camux and directrice des Archives de France madame Martine de Boisdeffre and Great Grandniece of Orville and Wilbur Wright Mrs. Amanda Wright-Lane.


U.S. Ambassador to France Mr. Craig Stappleton

Monsieur Michel Camux, prefet de la Sarthe

Madame Martine de Boisdeffre, directrice des Archives de France

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin

Monsieur Roland du Luart, Vice-president du Senate, President du Conseil general de la Sarthe

Mrs. Amanda Wright-Lane


The section of the Abbaye de l'Epau where the reception was held offered Champaign, water and soda as well as appetizers. There were many displays highlighting the Wright brother's historic visit to France throughout the Abbey reception area. The bronze bust of Charles E. Taylor which the AMTA was proud to donate was one of the key exhibits and this display informed all those attending who the first Aircraft Mechanic was.


Mr. Craig Stappleton, U.S. Ambassador to France, and AMTA Director Kenneth MacTiernan

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin and AMTA Director Kenneth MacTiernan

Virginia Krausse-Hess, sculptor of the Charles E. Taylor Bust and AMTA Director Kenneth MacTiernan

(L-R) Kenneth MacTiernan, Mrs. Amanda Wright-Lane, Virginia Krausse-Hess, Mr. Stephen Wright

Dawne Dewey, Wright State University Archives and Virginia Krausse-Hess, sculptor.


Also in attendance at the dinner after the reception were Airbus Chief Pilots for the A380 program Monsieur Jacque Rosay and Monsieur Claude Lelaie.

(L-R) Claude Lelaie, Kenneth MacTiernan, Jacques Rosay


Some of the exhibits on display at the Abbaye de l'Apau.


After the Le Mans Sarthe Wright 2008 Centennial celebration, and upon a Centennial Committee Board of Trustee's decision, the bronze bust of "Charlie" will be located on its final destination which would probably be a museum in the Le Mans and Sarthe area. There is a project of "Pioneers Workshop Museum" to be constructed at Le Mans airport and this place would be the perfect location for the Wright Flyer II replica, an original Wright engine and the bust of Charles E. Taylor.

Prior to the July 11th "Pioneers of Aviation" event held at the Abbaye de l'Epau the Le Mans Sarthe Wright Centennial Committee had on display at the Le Mans Aerodrome several aircraft, including a working replica of a Wright B Model Aircraft. There were also vintage automobiles on display.




The AMTA would like to give a very sincere to Monsieur Marc Denoueix who is President of the Le Mans Sarthe Wright Centennial Committee. Without his unyielding commitment and energy the "Pioneers of Aviation" event, and the centennial celebration of one of history's greatest achievements would not have been possible.

The AMTA also would like to thank the very talented artist Virginia Hess who once again created the lifelike bust of aviation's original "Unsung Hero". Thanks to her heavenly talents the AMTA has now reached an international audience informing them of  who Charles E. Taylor was.

To find out more about the Le mans Sarthe Wright 2008 Centennial Celebration visit their web site at WWW.WRIGHT2008.COM.