Friday, July 11, 2014

Glenn H. Curtiss Fastest Man of Earth 136.4 MPH 1907

Before Glenn Curtiss was the country's most famous aviator ,he was a famous motorcycle racer. He started building and racing his own brand of Motorcycles in single cylinder, v-twin, in-line fours and eventually a V8 that powered his record breaking machine that held the outright speed record for many years at 136.4 MPH in 1907. This same V8 was used to power his June Bug aircraft that he used in the first announced flight of a heavier than air machine. The Wright Bros flew before him and were his inspiration but, they flew not very far and very few people witnessed the event. Curtiss announced his flight and drew a huge crowd at a half-mile dirt track and successfully showed the world what flight was all about. He was a prolific inventor, among his great ideas was the twist grip throttle which still has not been bettered to this day. He built and sold his own planes in the early 1900s and is know as the founder of the American Aircraft Industry. Curtiss proved to the Navy that seaplanes were viable and he is credited as the father of Naval Avation. He held the very first Pilots License in the USA.He designed and produced the most popular plane of the WWI era with the Curtiss Jenny that was a Trainer ,Fighter that was made in such high quantities that after the war the surplus planes and spares that were sent back home ,started General Aviation in the U.S. Right before WWII broke out the iconic Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk was our front line Fighter. Curtiss Aircraft went on to build many WWII Planes for the War effort. Glenn Curtiss died at age 52, a real American Hero.