GLENN CURTISS Pioneer of Flight, C.R. Roseberry

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by j1b3h0, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. j1b3h0

    j1b3h0 Line Up and Wait

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    Having recently read McCullough's biography of the Wright bros., I thought I'd get a slightly different perspective of the key players during the dawn of powered flight. Orville and Wilber notwithstanding, Glenn Curtiss was argueably more responsible for the proliferation of airplanes, the manufacturing of airplanes, the design and modification of aircraft engines and propellers, the training of pilots, the invention and development of the seaplane, and in my opinion, the industry of aircraft and engine production than anyone world wide prior to 1920. While it's true the Wrights moved the ball, but spent the rest of their years trying to prevent anyone else from flying anything without paying them a fortune. They constructed a barely controllable, warping wing aircraft that needed a catapult to launch.
    Curtiss put wheels on his, and used some of the first ailerons. He was the first to abandon the pitch control in the front of the airplane. Soon after, pilots were performing loops in his machines. Curtiss invented the seaplane, and the system to hoist the floating aircraft aboard a ship. Early in the book, Curtiss set a speed record on a v8 powered motorcycle: 137mph! He was know as the fastest man in the world. By 1910 Curtiss aircraft engines were light years ahead of what the Wrights ever built. The moral I took from the book, is that Curtiss was brilliant, but most of all, he was a collaborator: He helped others to fly, rather than try to sue everybody and suppress innovation. It's a big tome of a book, but I highly enjoyed reading it. No wonder the corporation he started was called Curtiss-Wright.
     
  2. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 En-Route

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    I have both books, need to crack them open.
     
  3. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    We visited the Curtiss museum a few years ago. Hammandsport, n.y. Great place, very interesting. He was a genius.
     
  4. MikeS

    MikeS Pre-takeoff checklist

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    John J. Montgomery, here in San Diego on Otay Mesa, current location of KSDM, used ailerons on his gliders in the 1880's.

    A number of innovators flew in Europe well before the Wrights. The Wrights are the most over-rated bicycle mechanics ever invented by the history books. Curtiss was truly a far more valuable innovator than the Wrights, but history is full of such fictions and incorrect and/or incomplete stories - Columbus "discovering" America - another egregious example.
     
  5. Cruiser

    Cruiser Pre-takeoff checklist

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    While it is true that many others were attempting flight before and during the Wright Bros. efforts. NO ONE actually was able to accomplish it until the Wright Bros. began public demonstrations in 1908.
    Certainly there were many "improvements" to the Wright Bros. design but it cannot be denied that they accomplished what none of the others were able to do at the time. (1903 thru 1905)
     
  6. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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    This lady flew before the Wright Bros.
     
  7. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 En-Route

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    Yeah but if we want to include the broader category of aircraft in the discussion rather than just airplanes, we could go back farther than her.

    The way I look at the airplane argument is that the Wrights were first but Curtis was better as have been many since.