Glenn Hammond Curtiss

Who is Glenn Curtiss?

Glenn Hammond Curtiss (1878-1930)

He was a US pilot and one of the pioneers of aircraft building.

He was born on May 21, 1878 in Hammondsport, New York. He died on July 23, 1930 in Buffalo, New York State. After working in various jobs, he achieved great success as a bike and motorcycle racer. Curtiss later worked on developing these two crafts. He reached a speed record that could not be broken for 20 years in a race he entered in 1906 with the motorcycle he developed.

Glenn Hammond Curtiss

Aviation took an important place in the life of Curtiss after 1904. First, he developed a guided balloon engine. He later built the first US fighter planes and the first plane to cross the Atlantic Ocean. During World War I, he entered into a major legal conflict with the Wright Brothers over patent issues. However, during the war, he merged with the Wright Brothers and became Curtiss-Wright and produced fighter planes for many countries throughout the war. Curtiss had become a famous aircraft maker and a wealthy businessman at the end of the war.

In the early 1900s, the work of the Wright Brothers and Curtiss was remarkable in aviation. Following these developments closely, the inventor of the phone Graham Bell established the Aerial Experiments Association and brought Curtiss to its head. Curtiss made the first kilometer flight of the USA in 1908 with a plane built on behalf of this association.

Glenn Hammond Curtiss

Curtiss collaborated with the US Navy in the development of fighter planes. He made the first attempt of dropping a bomb from an airplane on June 30, 1910 by throwing a bomb on a ship model. Curtiss also worked on the development of ships that can carry aircraft and planes that can take off from these ships. Aircraft departure trial on November 14, 1910 from a cruiser/aircraft carrier equipped with a wooden runway was successful. Moreover, he successfully conducted both the landing and take-off trial from aircraft carrier on January 18, 1911.

Curtiss later developed an airplane with the hull shaped like a sea boat, which he called the “flying fish“. It is said that the aircraft, which later found a usage area under the name of “Flying Boat”, were built inspired by the work of Curtiss.

Curtiss was recognized as an industrialist and entrepreneur with great jobs in aviation. Together with his partners, he produced more than 5000 warplanes during the World War I.

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