Segments in this Video

Glenn H. Curtiss: Introduction (01:13)


Curtiss held the world speed records on land and in the air at the same time. He had manufactured the most number of aircraft in the world by his retirement. The Wright brothers sued him for patent infringement.

Curtiss' Early Life (03:21)

Curtiss was born in New York in 1878 and spent his childhood living with his mother or grandmother. He started a bicycle business as a teenager, became a bicycle racing champion, and eventually went into the motorcycle business; he created the V-twin in 1903.

Speed and Mechanics (02:54)

Curtiss' activities inspired the Tom Swift book series. He manufactured engines for Thomas Scott Baldwin's aircraft and built the first V8 motorcycle in 1906. Curtiss set a world speed record of 136.6 mph.

Aerial Experiment Association (02:53)

Alexander Graham Bell founded the AEA and invited Curtiss to join. Curtiss collaborated on the White Wing.

High Profile Pilot (02:44)

In 1908, Curtiss flew the June Bug for the general public. In 1908, he left the AEA and entered various flying contests. He became the first licensed aircraft manufacturer and the Wright brothers sued him; Curtiss won a $10,000 prize in a flying competition.

Early Military Planes (03:07)

Curtiss made the first flight across Lake Erie, funded aerial gun sight research, sold planes to the Army Air Corp, trained the first female American pilot, and invented the technology that made naval aviation possible.

New Plane Models (02:19)

In January 1911, a pilot completed the first successful seaplane flight in a Curtiss aircraft. The Wright brothers won the lawsuit against Curtiss in 1903; Curtiss continued work on a bi-plane.

Curtiss' Later Career (04:14)

Curtiss introduced the JN3 biplane in 1914; WWI ended Curtiss rivalry with the Wright Company. After the war, Curtiss designed the first travel trailer, the first air boat, and became interested in real estate. He received the Medal of Honor in 1930 and died in July of the same year.

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Glenn H. Curtiss (00:29)

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Glenn H. Curtiss

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Legends of Air Power: Glenn H. Curtiss

Part of the Series : Legends of Air Power
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $69.95
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Glenn Curtiss, an aviation pioneer, started out building gasoline engines and eventually went on to build his own aircraft company. Named the “fastest man on Earth” in 1907, when his motorcycle set a speed record of 136.3 miles per hour, Curtiss began constructing engines for airships. The first U.S. Army aircraft, was powered by a Curtiss engine. Curtiss aircrafts were present at many firsts in the history of aviation. Curtiss’ friendly rivalry with the Wright brothers ended when the two aircraft manufacturers merged in 1929, to become the Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

Length: 24 minutes

Item#: BVL129041

ISBN: 978-1-64023-398-0

Copyright date: ©2003

Closed Captioned

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