Flint, Michigan U.S.A. David Buick started the Buick Motor Car Company in Detroit in 1903. The first design was comparatively similar to conventional automobiles of the time. In 1909 a Buick driven by Bob Burman won the first race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and sales were boosted to over 30,000 autos by the following […]
Wingspan: 41 ' 4"
Top Speed: 75 mph (120 km/hr)
Gr. Weight: 2050 lbs (930 kg)
Custom-built for the editor of “Collier’s Weekly,” this aircraft was test flown in July 1913. It may have featured the first self-starting engine on an airplane. The wings and portion of the tail in our Museum are all that remain. Based on the design, we initially thought it was a French Breguet. Measuring the components against Burgess-Collier drawings showed them to be an exact match.
Engine: Gnome & Le Rhone Rotaries
Wingspan: 43 ' 11"
Top Speed: 65 mph (104 km/hr)
Gr. Weight: 1612 lbs (731 kg)
At the start of the War, the Caudron was in mass production and used by the French army as a trainer and observation aircraft. For these reasons it was adopted for use by the Allies. Although a wing warper, it was very easy to fly and was removed from the front lines to become a trainer. Our example was built from one original wing panel and some pieces of cowling. It lifted regularly for many years but is currently awaiting engine repairs and new fabric.
Wingspan: 15 ' 8"
Octave Chanute pioneered glider flight in the United States. While our reproduction is one of his weight shift efforts, he primarily focused on developing mechanized control systems. He and his assistants made over 1000 flights between 1897 and 1898 and the Wrights consulted him as they developed their machines. Our reproduction was built by E. Gordon Bainbridge in 1980.
Cleveland, Ohio U.S.A. Built as a small copy of the popular Chandler motor car, the Cleveland was a slightly more affordable version. It had a 6-cylinder valve-in-head engine and could be purchased for $1,490 to $1,990 as opposed to the Chandler which cost between $1,595 and $2,395.
The Columbia Automobile Company built a wide variety of cars including runabouts, surreys, tonneaus, cabriolets, broghams, delivery wagons police patrols and ambulances. They produced both gas and electric powered vehicles and had offices in New York City, Boston and Chicago.
Engine: Franklin 4AC-199
Wingspan: 27 '
Top Speed: 145 mph (233 km/hr)
Gr. Weight: 1305 lbs (592 kg)
The 1939 Culver Cadet was an improvement over its predecessor, the Culver Dart. It was designed by Al Mooney and incorporated a partial monocoque fuselage and retractable landing gear which greatly improved speed. The tiny aircraft seated two, side by side. This 1941 LFA Cadet included a 90 HP 4-cylinder Franklin engine with starter and a full electrical system.
Engine: Curtiss Challenger
Wingspan: 39 ' 1"
Top Speed: 102 mph (164 km/hr)
Gr. Weight: 2700 lbs (1225 kg)
The Fledgling was inspired by a U.S. Navy request for a new training aircraft. The Curtiss design was chosen by the Navy as it easily was modified to fly on land or on water. The twin open cockpits, rugged build, gentle handling qualities and powerful Wright Whirlwind engine made it an ideal military trainer. The civilian version, the Fledgling, incorporated all the same qualities but with the less powerful Curtiss Challenger engine.
Wingspan: 43 ' 7"
Top Speed: 75 mph (120 km/hr)
Gr. Weight: 1920 lbs (871 kg)
The Curtiss JN series of training aircraft was designed for pioneer American aviator Glenn Curtiss by Benjamin Thomas, a former designer with Sopwith in England. Pilots trained in “Jennys” were the US contribution to WWI in the air. Thousands were built and after the War they became the favorite steed of the barnstormers. This “H” model was assembled from an incomplete airframe, missing parts that were discovered, and other JN-4s. It has been flying since 1969 and was totally restored to its current condition in 2001.
Wingspan: 36 '
Top Speed: 45 mph (72 km/hr)
Glenn Curtis, a pioneer aviator and Wright Competitor, was based in Hammondsport, NY. He came to aviation from motorcycle and marine interests. Cole Palen built this reproduction of his Model A pusher in 1957. It was damaged in a crash, restored in 1975 and has been exhibited aboard the Intrepid Air, Space, and Sea Museum and at the Niagara Aerospace Museum.