Glenn Curtiss
Father of Naval Aviation

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The North Island era: Birth of naval aviation

The "Hudson Flyer": Not a Hydroplane

The "Hudson Flyer" is the plane Glenn Curtiss used to fly from Albany to New York City on May 29, 1910. It was not a hydroplane, although provisions were made to provide floatation in case Curtiss was forced to descend to the Hudson River. A board was placed from the front wheel to the rear axle. It was covered by canvas tacked on the edge and filled with corks. An angled water deflector was mounted in front of the front wheel. Tubular tanks were added under the lower wing for floatation. An extra section was added to each end of the top wing to provide lift for the extra weight. The front elevator had a double surface. Curtiss tested the floatation by landing in Lake Keuka. The plane did not sink, but it had to be towed to shore.

The radiator for the liquid cooled V8 engine can be seen behind the pilotís head. The tubular gasoline tank is above his head under the top wing. Pushing and pulling the wheel operates the front elevators. Turning the wheel operates the rear rudder. Leaning from side to side operates the yoke around the pilots shoulders to control the ailerons which are between the wings and attached to the two outboard front inter-wing struts.

This picture was made at Hammondsport, NY, the site of Curtissí motorcycle factory.

Back to: Curtiss' developments before arriving on North Island

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