Curtiss No.1 Gold Bug / Golden Flyer
1909
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Curtiss No.1 Gold Bug / Golden Flyer

The first Curtiss-built aeroplane designated as such was the single-seat model ordered by the Aeronautical Society of New York on 2 March, 1909, The purchase price of $5,000 included instruction for two Society members. With no designation, No.1 was initially called Gold Bug hecause of the golden tint of the varnished fabric but later officially became the Golden Flyer.

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Richard Eaton, 12.08.2011

You have overlooked the curtiss June Bug, Curtiss Museum has a model and a full size reproduction. Very interesting aircraft to say the least.

deaftom, 03.04.2011

If you look carefully at the photograph, you can see auxiliary surfaces between the two planes, out at the tips. These were moveable in pitch, cabled together such that one went up as the other went down, and are arguably the first use of true ailerons in the sense of separately movable surfaces intended to bank an aircraft. In other words, no, this was not a warping-wing machine. In the long litigation between the Wrights and Curtiss, the courts upheld the Wrights, declaring that any form of aileron was a variation on the Wright's wing-warping claims and therefore covered by their patent. However, the issue was not truly settled until World War One, when, to allow the rapid production of American aircraft for the war effort, the U.S. government made the legal fight moot by paying the Wrights for the aileron rights and releasing those rights into the public domain.

Mick, 03.02.2011

Curtiss alledgedly "stole" the wing-warping technology that was the single most important component of the Wright brothers success in airplane closed course competitions. When 1lt Selfridge, the Army's first aviation fatality, crashed during a competition, Curtiss was alledged to have slipped into the hangar where the wreckage was being held and he discovered the Wrights wing-warping technology. Some years later in a law suit brought by the Wrights Curtiss lost in court and had to settle with the Wrights over the issue. As I recall, there were Curtiss Wright joint ventures subsequent to the court ruling.

Jim, 22.06.2008

Maybe the Glenn Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, N.Y. could provide some help.

ben woestenburg, 29.03.2008

Hello. I'm just starting to do some research on a short story I want to write about the great air race of 1909, and was wondering if you could give me any background information as to how the damned things flew. Now, I'm no aviator, but I've learned a few things in the past hour or so. My main question here being, was this a warpwinged airplane? Did he have the shoulder yokes the French were using at the time, or was he using the newly developed ailerons? These aren't integral to the story, but having a little background is always useful. The story itself is in the nucleus, or maybe I should say, embryonic stage right now, but the early years of flight seems like such an interesting time I'm certain there's a story in there somewhere. Thank you in advance for whatever help you might give me.
Ben Woestenburg
Surrey, B.C. Canada

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