Inducted in 1969
Pioneer Aviator, Designer and Manufacturer, 1911
1878 – 1930
After starting a career as a bicycle racer and builder like the Wright brothers, Curtiss’ interests shifted to motorcycles. In 1907, riding an 8-cycle machine he designed and built, Curtiss set a world speed record of 136.3 mph. He then joined Alexander Graham Bell’s Aerial Experiment Association as an engine builder. Curtiss designed the AEA’s third plane, the “June Bug,” and in July 1908 piloted the first official public flight in the U.S., flying one mile. This won him the 1908 Scientific American Trophy. He was awarded the Trophy again in 1909 for flying 24.7 miles in 52 minutes, and later that year won international air race meets in France and Italy. In 1910, he won the Trophy again for the first flight from Albany to New York.
In 1909, Curtiss established America’s first aircraft manufacturing company, and his planes flew on […]