Curtiss Pusher Model D
- : United States
- : 1911
- : Curtiss OX-5
- 30 '
- : Active
- 25 ' 10"
- : Reproduction
Glenn Curtiss was one of the most significant names in pioneer aviation and a rival of the Wright brothers. His success as a motorcycle builder and racer caught public attention and in 1907 he established a world land speed record of 136.3 MPH. Captain Thomas Scott Baldwin lured Curtiss into the world of aviation by having him design an engine to power a dirigible. This led Curtiss to further experiment with flight and he developed numerous aircraft designs shortly thereafter.
Our Curtiss Pusher Model D was built in 1976 and is now powered by a Curtiss OX-5 engine. It utilizes the original Curtiss control system. The shoulder yoke controls the ailerons as the pilot leans from side to side. Rotation of the wheel controls the rudder. Moving the wheel fore and aft controls both forward and rear elevators. The right pedal controls the throttle, a center pedal is for the front wheel friction brake, and the left pedal operates an emergency “claw” brake located in the center of the main landing gear. Modern pilots find their skills challenged by these departures from the standard control system.
In the winter of 2003, we were invited to participate in the Australian International Airshow. With ideal field conditions, Aerodrome pilot Dan Taylor made this airplane’s first ever circuit of an airfield. The 1911 Hall-Scott, in use at the time, was believed to be the earliest engine to power an airplane in Australia since before WW1.
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