Curtiss Firsts
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Restoration Shop

Shop Overview

Restoration activities began in earnest when the Curtiss Museum moved to its new and much larger facility on Route 54 in 1992. Entirely staffed by volunteers, the Restoration Shop provides many services to the museum. Everything from building and repairing equipment and displays, to restoring originals or building reproductions of Curtiss aircraft and other vehicles lies within the wide range of activities regularly performed by this dedicated group of craftsmen.

Curtiss Fledgling

Learn To Fly

Purchased by the Curtiss Museum in 2008, our Fledgling registration # NC656M shows ownership from the original manufacture date of October 10, 1929.

On October 26th it was transferred to the Curtiss Flying Service from the Curtiss Aero and Manufacturing Company Inc. (Mfg. SN B109, approved type certificate # 191, Curtiss Challenger Engine 185 HP), transferred to Curtiss Flying Service of the East, Caldwell, NJ. 1014 hours flight time up to Jan. 30, 1933. Standard Airworthiness Certificate June 6, 1950, application for Airworthiness certificate March 31, 1993.

This leads us to believe that it was in flyable condition at least as of this date.

Project Begins

P-40 Project

P-40 - Needs Work

The Restoration Shop purchased a P-40 project in August 2011. The project arrived from Iowa via truck, courtesy of Mercury Aircraft. The project consists of the wreckage of three of these historic WWII fighters, two of which crashed following a mid-air collision in the Everglades in 1943. The third is one from a crash at St. Simon Island at about the same time. This will be a long term restoration project. One of the fuselages will be displayed soon after arrival here.

The Curtiss P-40 has a great connection to Hammondsport as the tail surfaces and belly tanks were made by Mercury Aircraft. Much more to follow as we get into the historical records furnished with the project.

America - Getting Wet September 15, 2007

Select Videos

Story Behind the Curtiss A-1 - Part I (3:57)

Story Behind the Curtiss A-1 - Part II (3:36)

Story Behind the Curtiss A-1 - Part III (2:32)

Glenn Curtiss Museum Volunteer Builders (00:35)

Glenn Curtiss “America“ Construction - Part I (00:54)

Glenn Curtiss “America“ Construction - Part II (04:26)

Glenn Curtiss “America“ Construction - Part III (07:09)

Glenn Curtiss “America“ Construction - Part IV (09:56)

"America" Water Test (4:40)

F.L.A.P.S. Model Club - June Bug 100 Years (10:02)

1910 Curtiss Albany Flyer

On May 29, 1910, Glenn Curtiss completed a 150-mile public flight along the Hudson from Albany, NY, to Manhattan. Curtiss's feat - the first true cross-country flight in the United States - was a technological tour de force. Not only was it by far the longest flight yet attempted in the country, but it also meant traveling over unpredictable terrain with virtually unknown wind and weather hazards - quite a different matter from the fair-weather demonstration laps around airfields that characterized most of his previous flights.

Hundreds of thousands of people showed up to watch Curtiss's flight down the Hudson, and the New York Times devoted no less than six full pages of text and photos to the occasion - the most space the newspaper had ever allotted to a single news event.

On October 26, 2008, the restoration shop embarked on recreating Cutiss's 1910 Albany Flyer.

1910 Curtiss Albany Flyer
Curtiss Albany Flyer Diagram

1914 Curtiss America

A 72-foot wingspan reproduction of the 1914 Curtiss flying boat America was completed by the museum’s Restoration Shop crew in early September 2007. Escorted by county sheriff personnel, the plane was transported by trailer to the boat launch at Hammondsport’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.

1914 Curtiss America

2007 Curtiss America
America Update, 2008

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.

Curtiss 1911 A-1 Curtiss 1911 A-1

Completed in 2004, the A1 has performed beautifully in flights during September's Seaplane Homecomings of 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Piloted by Jim Poel, the A1 demonstrated several "firsts" in 2005. It was flown with a new float, new wheels and anti-skid panels. It was flown higher and faster, made its first turn and taxied with two persons on board. In 2006, Jim flew the A1 to the Bluff and back - a distance of 7 miles.

Also achieved in 2006 was a flight with 2 persons aboard and a full tank of gas.

A1 Flight

Certificate of Excellence
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