The first AEA aeroplane was named Red Wing
because of the colour of its fabric covering. It was a biplane with a movable elevator ahead of the wings and a fixed stabilizer behind. A movable rudder was provided, but no means oflateral controL Since it was to be flown from ice, it used skids for an undercarriage. The 'sponsor', or principal designer, was Lt Selfridge.
The first of two flights was made by Thomas Baldwin on 12 March, 1908,
since Selfridge was absent on Army business. The flight covered a distance of 97m and ended in a crash landing. This has been represented as the first public aeroplane flight in the United States, and figured in the subsequent controversies with the Wrights. The second flight, on 18 March, also ending in a crash, covered only 37m and proved the need for lateral control.
Peter M. Bowers "Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947", 1979