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CURTISS, Glenn Hammond [1878-1930] -- American inventor (aviation) and aviation pioneer

Relationship to me: 6C2
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He was a member of ¤Alexander Graham Bell's Aerial Experiment Association (1907-9). In 1908 he made the first public flights in the United States, and in 1909 he established the first flying school there. His greatest triumph was his then daring and spectacular flight from Albany to New York City in 1910 – with a refueling stop in Poughkeepsie at Camelot, near the present IBM site on NY Route 9.

In 1911, Curtiss and Bell patented the aileron, which Curtiss attached to his newly developed seaplane. This control surface proved much superior to the wing warping method that the Wrights were using. He organized (1916) the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corp., which built many planes for the Allied nations during World War I. After the war Curtiss continued to contribute radical improvements in the design of both planes and motors. [after Encyclopedia.com]

Curtiss and the Wright brothers had a number of aviation patents, one of which was the subject of a bitter and protracted lawsuit. The issue was lateral control – wing warping vs ailerons – but the Wright patent also claimed the very idea of lateral control, which would be like claiming the idea of roundness in a tire patent.

Although the Wrights won that suit, in the final analysis, not one Wright invention is in current use, while numerous Curtiss inventions still have relevance and importance. The Wrights may have gotten the glory, and they deserve honor for being the first in the air, but only Curtiss' genius has survived the test of time.  -30-
 

Chronology

1902
Began producing motorcycles
1903
First American motorcycle champion: world record 56.4 sec. mile
1906
Wright bros. were granted a patent for their flyer, using wing warping for lateral control
1907
"Fastest man in the world" 136.36 mph w/8 cyl motorcycle
1907-1909
Member of A. G. Bell''s Aerial Experiment Association (AEA)
1908
First US flight of aircraft equipped with wheels ("White Wing")
1908
First Army dirigible flight (as flight engineer)
1908
First flight of an aircract controlled by ailerons ("White Wing")
1908
First official public US flight ("June Bug")
1908
First public straight line flight of 1 km (Scientific American trophy)
1909
Established first flying school in U.S.
1909
Won second Scientific American trophy, for circular flight
1909
First Canadian airplane flight ("Silver Dart", Nova Scotia)
1909
Produced and sold first private aircraft in US
1909
First US licensed aircraft manufacturer
1909
Wrights file suit claiming patent infringement on issue of lateral control
1909
Won first international air race with 46.5 mph (James Gordon Bennett cup, Rheims, FRA)
1910
First successful takeoff from a Navy ship
1910
Curtiss motorcycle production ceases (although continued for a short while under the name Marvel)
1910
Trained Blanche Stuart Scott, first female American pilot
1910
First New York to Albany flight (New York World prize)
1910
First (simulated) bombing runs from an aircraft (Lake Keuka)
1910/08
First firearm use from aircraft, piloted by Curtiss (Sheepshead Bay Speedway, Brooklyn, New York)
1910/08
First radio communication with aircraft in flight (Curtiss biplane)
1911
Ailerons (airplane control surfaces) patented. Wrights were still using wing warping.
1911
Received US pilot''s license #1
1911
First successful pontoon aircraft in US
1911
First takeoff and landing on water
1911
First practical seaplane (A-1 "Triad" hydroplane)
1911
Built first US Navy aircraft ("Triad")
1911
First military aviation school
1911
Trained first two Navy pilots
1911
First air-sea rescue (of another crashed pilot, using the Curtiss seaplane)
1911
First dual pilot controls
1911
First retractable landing gear (Hydroaeroplane)
1911?
First passenger in a seaplane
1912
Wilbur Wright dies of typhoid; Wright family blames death on Curtiss intransigence re lawsuit
1912
First Florida flight school (Miami Beach)
1912
First flying boat (Lake Keuka)
1912/11
First compressed air catapult launch (Curtiss seaplane)
1913
Wrights win ailerons lawsuit, Curtiss ordered to stop production and use of planes with two ailerons that operated simultaneously in opposite directions
1914
Motorcycle production ceases entirely
1914
First heavier-than-air craft intended for transatlantic flight
1914/05
First demonstration of automatic pilot (by Lawrence Sperry in a Curtiss Model J flying boat)
1916
Organized Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corp.
1919
Curtiss NC-4 flying boat is first to cross Atlantic Ocean
1920
First airboat (Florida Everglades)
1920-1930
Lived in FL (Curtiss Mansion, 500 Deer Run, Miami Springs)
1920s
Founded city of Opa Locka, FL
1920s
Involved with founding of Hialeah, FL

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