Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Glenn Curtiss Museum.

We haven't been to the Glenn Curtiss museum in Hammondsport, NY for years. And as a gift to me on my birthday we all trekked down there to see what was going on.

Glenn Curtis was one of the first Americans to fly...some say he went up before the Wright brothers. He was a tinkerer. He built motorcycle, airplanes, boats, bicycles and campers. The museum contains vehicles, costumes, household items (He and his family and grand homes both here and in Florida) lots of photos, awards, interactive activities, name it. It was so interesting!
There was a gentleman there who had helped build a copy of a plane originally built in 1914 to fly across the ocean. It was a sea plane and the plan was to have fuel ships every 50 miles or so. The plane would refuel and take off until the next fuel ship was spotted below. Every thing was ready to go when, WW1 broke out and the whole plan was cancelled. The man who was to pilot the plane, bought it and took it to England where it spent WW1 flying over the English coast looking for German Submarines. There is nothing left of the original plane so the fellas at the museum (and it is mostly men who are fliers either professionally or as a hobby who volunteer there time and knowledge and skill) rebuilt the plane from the original plans. They took it out over Keuka Lake (just as was done in Curtiss' day) and test flew it. It is now in the museum and won't fly again until 2014 to celebrate the 100th birthday of the original plane. The whole story was simply fascinating! The golden age meets modern day. Very cool.
The kids enjoyed the costumes and the interactive flying games. It was a nice way to spend a summer afternoon.

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