A 72-foot wingspan reproduction of the 1914 Curtiss flying boat America was completed by the museumâ's Restoration Shop crew in early September 2007. Escorted by county sheriff personnel, the plane was transported by trailer to the boat launch at Hammondsportâ€™s Depot Park. There the America was reassembled, launched and towed several hundred feet down the shoreline to a special site where it would receive final preparation for flight. The museum greatly appreciates the generous help received from Mercury Aircraft - for personnel, use of trucks and the construction of this set-up area.
The America did fly for the public for the first time on Saturday, September 13, 2008. Two reworked OXX-6 engines with about 120 HP each, proved to be powerful enough to lift the plane easily into the air. About 600 people had gathered on the shore to watch the flight, and this year they were not disappointed. Pilot Jim Poel, and co-pilot Lee Sackett flew the America in two large loops up and down the lake - a distance of about 2 miles. This was the first time the plane banked and turned, and it did so with no difficulty. The America flew again on Sunday morning and on Monday it was returned to the museum for display.