Glenn Curtiss' Home in Miami Springs
The Glenn Curtiss House was
constructed in 1925 for this aviation pioneer
who had established his own airplane company
before becoming the developer of Miami
Springs, Florida. Located in his Miami Springs
development, Curtiss lived in this large,
two-story residence designed in the Pueblo
Revival style until his death in
Glenn Curtiss' Home in Hialeah
After WWI, Curtiss branched
out into other areas and became less directly
involved in aviation. He became a Florida
land developer. With friends he developed the
communities of Hialeah, Miami Springs, and
Opa-Locka. He also was an
early pioneer in
the RV industry building the Curtiss Aerocar.
Opa-Locka - Planned Community with Moorish Architecture
In 1921 Curtiss moved to
Florida to become a highly-successful land
developer. With friends, he developed the
Florida cities of Hialeah, Miami Springs, and
Opa-Locka. Opa-Locka was intended to be his
a planned community
resembling something from the Arabian Nights.
In the spring of 1930, he was awarded an
honorary Doctor of Science degree from the
University of Miami for his many
contributions to the development
of the Miami area.
Curtiss Eagle Ambulance
By the end of World war I, the US Army realized the
need to transport the wounded by air. In 1918 Maj Nelson E. Driver
and Capt William C. Ocker converted a Curtiss JN-4 Jenny biplane
into an airplane ambulance by modifying the rear
cockpit to accommodate a standard Army stretcher carrying an
injured person in a semireclined seat.
| The modification allowed the US Army to transport patients by airplane for the first time. This success led to an
order directing all military airfields to have an air ambulance.
Curtiss SB-2C Helldiver
The Curtiss Aircraft Manufacturing Company produced
29,269 aircraft during World War II. They also produced
146,840 aircraft engines and 146,468 electric propellers. Among
the aircraft produced were 7140 Helldivers
delivered to the U.S. Navy and they inflicted a lot of damage on
It was responsible for more shipping kills than any other
Although production problems persisted throughout its initial combat service, pilots soon changed their minds
about the potency of the Helldiver. Curtiss opened a new facility in Columbus, Ohio just to build the Helldiver
dive bomber for the war. By June 20,1944 five squadrons were operating from the aircraft carriers Yorktown,
Hornet, Bunker Hill, Wasp and Essex. Four of these five carriers launched 52 Curtiss Helldiver dive bombers
toward the 300 mile distant Japanese fleet. Forty-three of the Helldivers didn't return. While only four were
lost in combat, 35 ditched for lack of fuel and four more crashed into U.S. Navy ships. Most of the crewmen survived;
104 men took off in Curtiss Helldivers that day; only 18 didn't make it.
USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4)
- The First Aircraft Carrier in the World
- The First Plane in the World to Land on a Ship
(a Curtiss biplane)
- The First Use of Arresting Gear to Stop a Plane Landing on a Ship
The workers at the shipyard had never seen anything like it before. In less than fourteen
days, Mare Island had built a steel frame, erected a wooden platform upon it, affixed
ropes which were stretched across the platform and anchored to sand bags on both ends,
all before the ship shoved off for the San Francisco Bay. Eugene B. Ely would visit the yard
to check on the work, which involved building a wooden platform 133 feet 7 inches long (from
the mainmast to just over the fantail) and 31 feet 6 inches wide over the main deck. It was there,
on the 18th of January, 1911, Eugene B. Ely cranked up his Curtiss biplane, wrapped a few inflated
inner tubes around himself in case he missed, and kited across the bay toward the Pennsylvania and thus became the first man in the world to land an airplane on a ship - the world's first aircraft carrier
Click HERE to visit the USS Pennsylvania
U.S.S. Curtiss (AV-4)
USS Curtiss, lead ship of a class of two 8671-ton seaplane tenders, was launched 20 April 1940 by New York
Shipbuilding Corp., built at Camden, New Jersey, sponsored by Mrs. H.S. Wheeler, and commisssioned
in November 1940. She served in the Atlantic until May 1941, when she was sent to the Pacific. During the next several
months, she supported seaplane operations out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and made one voyage to reinforce the garrison at
Wake Island. The Curtiss was at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
The XF-87 was the last aircraft built by Curtiss Aircraft. Maximum speed: 520 mph.
Glenn Hammond Curtiss
The Godfather of Modern Aviation
Glenn Hammond Curtiss was born in Hammondsport, at
the southern tip of Keuka Lake, New York on May 21, 1878.
At the age of four he was left without a father and lived with his
grandmother. He earned the money for his
first bike by working for Eastman Kodak and then became a Western
Union delivery boy.
The fact that the Wright Brothers had made the first powered flignt has been accepted, but the achievements
of Curtiss spanned several decades and took the airplane from its wood, fabric and wire beginnings to the
forerunners of modern transport aircraft. That notwithstanding, so successful were Curtiss' motors that he
soon attracted the attention of Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone inventor, who was interested in developing
| In 1930 Glenn Hammond Curtiss was presented the Congressional Medal of Honor. In an anniversary flight he retraced his Albany to New York route of twenty years before. He passed away
in July, 1930, leaving behind a legacy for the benefit fo the entire aviation community.
| Click HERE for more information