A.E.A.’s, J.A.D. McCurdy’s Silver Dart Birth at N.Y., July-Oct., 1908 Accounts of The Day. Part I.

S.V.P. This is not your typical historian account; I certainly lack the required credentials of a writer, academic or scholar, therefore Mr., Mrs., Bell & “Boys,” will narrate their own study-paper presentation. Alexander Graham Bell was a stickler in keeping records, constantly hounding McCurdy, Baldwin, Curtiss, Selfridge, on the importance in writing daily detailed accounts, photographing, etc. Prof., Bell: “I am seriously troubled by the lack of proper records.” This was unveiled in Bell’s Deposition on January 15, 1915, as he was questioned on the submitted, “Bulletin XXXIX, Souvenir Volume, April 12, 1909.”A score of times receiving unmarked photos, etc., Bell filled in the blanks by dating, entering received letters, telegrams, and photos. The latter sent from his summer estate, copies were produced, inserted in his personal “Beinn Bhreagh Recorder” and notebook, as Curtiss and McCurdy dragged their heels in this matter. Prof. A.G. Bell: “I call attention to the fact that the legend below the 201 photograph on page 5 shows the date ‘Dec 6, 1909’ by error, instead of ‘Dec 6, 1907’, as stated correctly in the index to the volume.” The famous recycled photo of Feb., 23 as the Silver Dart took off the ice at baddeck bay is dated Feb 24 in two separate Volumes: Photo # 8 “Second flight of the Silver-Dart over the ice on Baddeck Bay not Feb 23. Feb. 24, 1909. McCurdy Aviator. Three photos. Upper picture, gives a near view of the Silver-Dart in the air (Feb., 24) with McCurdy as aviator.” Photo # 28. Drome No. 4, McCurdy’s Silver-Dart, carrying Mr. J. A. Douglas McCurdy as Aviator, over the ice on Baddeck Bay, near Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Feb. 24, 1909. Furthermore, the three photos depiction of the Silver Dart accident at the racetrack dated Dec., 8, that event unfolded on December 9, 1908. While LAC’s photo PA-122520 inserts the proper date, they drop the ball on location: “Canada N.S. 9 Dec. 1908.”

  • The below only covers the title mentioned dates, extracted, timeline from the original bulletins, AEA’s members letters, telegrams, notes, etc. Owing too the size, amount of pages while at Stony Brook farm, H. Champlin’s half mile racetrack, H.Q. Hammodsport, N.Y., divided into two parts, July-Oct., Part I and Part II Nov.-Dec. Short- Link for: AEA’s J.A.D. McCurdy Silver Dart Accounts of The Day, Nov.-Dec., 1908. Part II. http://wp.me/p55eja-Eb

Milberry, Larry 1979; Casey, Louis S. 1981; Molson and Taylor 1982, vague narratives on AEA and Silver Dart, are perpetuated by mainstream historians/authors, online history; therefore questionable or factual? “Christened as the Silver Dart, after the metallic waterproofing,” although answers the Silver, noted only applied on one side of the wings, no mention why the word “Dart” was used. Letter from McCurdy to Mrs. Bell: N.Y., Aug. 30, 1908:— You ask me in your letter why we thought of the “Silver-Dart” as a name for aerodrome No. 4. Well the surfaces are silvered on one side, that suggested the “Silver”, and the word “Dart” will explain itself. Also the combination of the two words sounded rather attractive to me. McCurdy and Curtiss used the term “dart,” in reports, etc., prior to July, 1908, in description of the initial tail release of the aerodrome, as she quickly ran down the racetrack on Stony Brook Farm. Curtiss describing the flight of the “White Wing” on May 22:— The flyer was being held by the tail at the upper end of the back stretch of Harry Champlin’s half mile track on Stony Brook Farm. Upon being released she “darted forward” and sped down the track at a speed of perhaps 25 miles per hour.

Letter from Alexander Graham Bell to J.A.D. McCurdy, 1331 Connecticut Avenue, Washington, D.C. March 17, 1908. Mr. J. A. Douglas McCurdy, c/o of G. H. Curtiss Co., Hammondsport, New York. Dear Douglas:— I think it very important that you should make every effort to keep a photographic record of what is being done at Hammondsport, on the same general plan as the record you kept at Beinn Bhreagh. The photographs sent by Mr. Curtiss would not be sufficient as evidence of diligence and invention, for they bear no identifying mark, they have no date, and they are kept in the hands of the experimenters themselves…Now my dear fellow do look after this for the importance of the photographic record is greater than you have any conception of. Sometime or other litigation on flying machine inventions will arise and I am seriously troubled by the lack of proper records. http://www.loc.gov/resource/magbell.14800301

 

Aerial Experiment Association Members Group portrait showing left to right: Group portrait showing left to right F.W. Casey Baldwin, Lieutenant Tom E. Selfridge, Glen H. Curtiss, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, J.A.D. McMurdy. On the right is Mr. Louis Post of the Aero Club of America, and the tip of White Wing 1908.

Aerial Experiment Association Members Group portrait showing left to right: F.W. Casey Baldwin, Lieutenant Tom E. Selfridge, Glen H. Curtiss, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, J.A.D. McMurdy. On the right is Mr. Louis Post of the Aero Club of America, and the tip of White Wing 1908.

 

Dr. A.G. Bell:— “The next machine was known officially as ‘Drome N o 4, McCurdy’s Silver Dart’. Its construction was commenced soon after July 7, 1908, and the machine was completed and successfully operated shortly thereafter — within a few weeks — at Hammondsport, N.Y. After making many successful flights in Hammondsport in the fall of 1908, it was taken to Canada by Mr McCurdy, and made many successful flights over the ice in Baddeck Bay, Nova Scotia, particularly during December, 1908. Sometime subsequent to this it was destroyed in an accident.

The above deriving from Dr. Bell’s Deposition January 15, 1915, are slightly hazy, owing by Oct. 28, 1908 the Silver Dart was finished: “The fourth flying machine of the Aerial Experiment Association is finished and in the tent on Stony Brook farm. — To Go in the Air this week.” By Sept., 17 the Dart was finished however without the proper engine, no start attempts were made until 6th Dec., 1908. While December 1908 the Silver Dart short flights for the exception of two, unfolded at Stony Brook Farm ½ mile racetrack, near Hammondsport N.Y.

 

WORK OF THE HAMMONDSPORT LABORATORY SINCE THE FLIGHT OF THE JUNE BUG, JULY 4th, 1908: by G.H. Curtiss, Director of Experiments.

On July 10th, the attempt was again made, and I made a flight of a mile circling around a large tree in the meadow and again failing to make the second turn but landed without accident. Immediately after receiving a message from Doctor Bell in regard to building a Number 4, we became busy on the plans and have all of the designs worked out, including improved rigs, sockets, turn-buckles etc. We made a steam chest for making laminated work such as propellers and ribs. We now have all of the ribs made up and are in a position to make them in about one fourth of the time occupied by the old methods. All of the sockets are also made and ready for the No. 4 as well as the turn-buckles and engine section of the frame. The propellers are well under way and the rubber cloth is ordered from Mr. Baldwin.

PLANS FOR AEORODROME NO. 4: by J.A.D. McCurdy.

To Aerial Experiment Association, Hammondsport, N.Y. from Pictou, N.S., July 6, 1908 —If McCurdy wishes to follow on line of “June Bug”, I recommend that McCurdy’s machine be now built at Hammondsport and headquarters be retained there for the present. In meantime don’t run any risk of injuring “June Bug” until an application for a patent has been prepared. Would like Baldwin to help me in Baddeck soon as possible, and when we are ready for motor would like all to come to Baddeck.

  • (Signed) Graham Bell.

 

Blueprint AEA's Aerodrome No. 4 McCurdy's Silver Dart, Oct., 20th 1908.

Blueprint AEA’s Aerodrome No. 4 McCurdy’s Silver Dart, Oct., 20th 1908.

 

WORK OF THE AERIAL EXPERIMENT ASSOCIATION AS RECORDED IN

TELEGRAMS FROM MEMBERS.

 To Dr. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S., Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 4, 1908:— Assembling machine; delayed for cloth. Send samples as soon as arrive. (Signed) J.A.D. McCurdy.

To Mrs. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S., from Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 10, 1908:— The No. 4 machine is about ready to assemble; the cloth for the surfaces is finished. John will bear it from New York. Selfridge has been ordered to Washington, and I suppose we have lost him for the rest of the summer. G.H. Curtiss.

To Dr. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S., from Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 10, 1908:— The propellers, transmission, etc., for the No. 4 are ready, and we will make a thorough test of the double propellers this week. Everything else is also ready to assemble. While in Washington I had a long talk with Mr. Cameron and we expect his draughtsman here today to finish the details of the machine. G.H. Curtiss.

To Dr. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S., from Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 13, 1908:— We have started assembling the machine to-day and in about 3 days I am sure it will look like a real aerodrome. J.A.D. McCurdy.

To Dr. A.G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. from Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 17, 1908:— Shall we christen aerodrome Number four Silver-Dart? Nearly assembled. J.A.D. McCurdy.

To Dr. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. from Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 28, 1908:— Made two flights last evening; one with top surface off tail, another with both surfaces off. No noticeable difference with one surface off, but with both off machine was speedy and tremendously sensitive. Will need practice to attain skill. Used new propeller push 212 lbs. Silver-Dart about ready. Will prepare full details before trial.

  • J.A.D. McCurdy.

To Dr. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, from  N.S. Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 28, 1908:— John and I both flew tonight with nothing behind but rudder. No tail.

  • G. H. Curtiss.

To J.A.D. McCurdy, Hammondsport, N.Y. from Baddeck, N.S., Aug. 29, 1908:—Baldwin’s “Little Devil” made twenty-four kilometers per hour this morning without any hydroplanes, an unprecedented feat for a motor boat driven by an aerial propeller.

  • Graham Bell.

 

WORK OF THE AERIAL EXPERIMENT ASSOCIATION AS RECORDED IN LETTERS AND TELEGRAMS FROM MEMBERS. (Letters on the Silver Dart).

*To Dr. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. from Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 26, 1908:— McCurdy’s No. 4 is being assembled and is a beauty. Ingraham, who by the way is doing finely of late, thinks that a couple of days more will see it assembled. Before taking the June Bug out of the tent to make room for the No. 4 were decided to replace the ribs which had straightened out by getting wet, and which accounts for Selfridge’s failure to fly. This has been done and we will fly it to-day with the new surfaces which have no reverse curve. We have also added better lubrication for the engine which will enable us to make longer flights…….

  • G.H. Curtiss.

*To Mrs. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. from Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 26, 1908: — You must be anxious to know what we are doing here. We are busy enough but things go rather slowly. We have one consolation, however, and that is that the No. 4 machine is being built, as you might say, “like a watch” and looks like business throughout. The parts are well finished, the results of knowing what we want and not having to change as in the previous machines. We learned that Selfridge’s lack of success in flying the June Bug was due principally to the surfaces straightening out and losing their curve which gives them the lifting effect. We have made new ribs and are putting them in so that further experiments can be made with the machine before it is taken out to make room for the No. 4.

  • G. H. Curtiss.

*To Dr. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 29, 1908:— We enclose prints of the old June Bug as it now appears. As we wired you last night, John and I both flew it with the tail entirely removed. The print shows the way we fastened the rudder. The object of this experiment was to gain knowledge for the No. 4. We now believe that with larger front surface placed further forward the tail is entirely unnecessary; more speed is obtained and the turn seems to be easier although we cannot quite account for this. Perhaps the vertical surface of the struts on the tail were enough to retard the turning action. You have probably seen the photos and description of the Wright’s. They do not seem to have anything startling, but I cannot say as much about Mr. Herring; I believe he employs gyroscope, and I think there are great possibilities in this line. I see no other solution of automatic stability.

  • G. H. Curtiss.

Letter: To Mrs. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. From Hammondsport, N.Y., Aug. 30, 1908:— You ask me in your letter why we thought of the “Silver-Dart” as a name for aerodrome No. 4. Well the surfaces are silvered on one side, that suggested the “Silver”, and the word “Dart” will explain itself. Also the combination of the two words sounded rather attractive to me. You didn’t criticise but we understood Mr. Bell’s telegram to mean that the name was quite agreeable to you all. She certainly is a beauty. At present the four wings are assembled and all the wiring done. The truck with three wheels attached is all ready to secure in place to-morrow. We think that we ought to use a double-decked front control. It gives greater scope for rigidity, and also has double the surface for probably the same head resistance. Another point is, that the front control ought to be powerful enough to CONTROL the machine under any condition whether simply gliding at a reduced speed, or under full power from the motor. When we get flying in heavier winds, we may want to force the machine to depress or elevate, and that might require quite a turning force……………. (June Bug): The old ribs have all been removed, and ribs such as we are to use on the Silver-Dart substituted. These ribs have just the single curve and are made of four plies instead of three to obtain greater strength. Now upon trying the machine night before last (Friday) under these conditions new ribs of single curvature, and without a tail, (the man moving back seven inches to make up for load removed from rear by removing the tail) I found that the machine would glide!…………. Please ask Mr. Bell if we are to enter for the Scientific American Trophy game on September 7. We may not have the new engine ready, but yet there is a chance.

  • J.A.D. McCurdy.

 

Aerial Experiment Association McCurdy No. 4 Silver Dart with “June Bug” engine. Sept. 17. 1908.

Aerial Experiment Association McCurdy No. 4 Silver Dart with “June Bug” engine. Sept. 17. 1908.

 

Telegrams Received by AGB, on Selfridge, Wright’s Accident at Fort Meyer.

 To A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. Washington, D.C., Sept. 17, 1908:— Wright aeroplane wrecked to-day. Propeller broken; fell over one hundred feet. Selfridge seriously injured. Wright’s leg broken.

  • Charles Bell.

To A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. Washington, D.C., Sept. 17, 1908:— Poor Tom died to-night of brain injury in wrecked aeroplane. A new propeller broke. Wright stopped engine, but aeroplane pitched forward and dove 50 feet. Wright broke thigh and two ribs. He will recover. Machine completely wrecked.

  • David Fairchild.

Minutes by J. A. D. McCurdy, from September 21, 1908, to September 26, 1908:— A meeting was held on Sept. 20, 21 st 1908, by order of the Chairman, at 1331 Conn. Ave., Washington, D. C. at 10 A. M. Present, A. G. Bell, G. H. Curtiss, F. W. Baldwin and J. A. D. McCurdy.

On Sept. 26th, 1908, a meeting of the Association was held by order of the Chairman reviewed the conditions which led to the formation of the Association, its work during the past year and the probable plans for the Association in the future…… Bell reminded members that the Association would come to an end on Sept. 30th, 1908, unless, as stipulated by our Constitution, a unanimous vote of the members was obtained which would decide otherwise………Mr. Bell also stated that he had been authorized by Mrs. Bell to say that she would be willing to donate money as wanted by the Association to the limit of $10,000 more to allow the experiments to be carried on for another period of six months. The following resolution was put and unanimously carried:—

  • RESOLVED:—that that the Aerial Experiment Association be continued under its present organization for another period of six months, ending March 31, 09.

Minutes, September 26, 1908 1331 Conn. Ave. Washington, D.C. It has been our intention when navigation opened to return to Novascotia and carry on the tetrahedral experiments. But then it unfortunately happened that Mrs. Bell became seriously ill, so it so it was impossible for me to go to Novascotia. It occurred to me that this was an opportunity for letting all these younger members come in for their chance. And so we went on We had the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. And so without waiting for the construction of No. 3 we want ed only to give Mr. McCurdy his chance by making No. 4, which is now completed and ready for trial; and that is our No. 4 “The Silver Dart”. We still have No. 3. They are using No. 3 for experiments with details in regard to parts that are to be used on No. 4. and in that way testing the improvements before they are actually constructed.

  • Mr. McCurdy: It is all finished except the motor.
  • Mr. Bell: Then a moment after Mr. McCurdy has had sufficient time to test out his machine he adjourns to Novascotia so that I might have the help of all the members accompanying the experiment with the tetrahedral structures. So that the Association gradually divided, two members— one to Novascotia, Baldwin and myself, two remaining in Hammondsport— Curtis and McCurdy. Lieutenant Selfridge was ordered to Washington by the Government and connected with the Signal Service, so that we lost his connection with us. Then in order to keep in touch with one another so that we might still continue cooperative work, we started the issuing of bulletins of the A.E.A. so that what was being done in Hammondsport should be known to those in Novascotia, and what was being done in 10 Novescotia should be known to members in Hammondsport; there should be an opportunity for free interchange of ideas and thereby carry out the idea of joint work. So we have those four coming up to the Silver Dart which has been completed but not tried. In the mean time we are going ahead in Novascotia with tetrahedral structure. We have No. 5 completed,—The large aerodrome of the tetrahedral variety on the general model of the Signet, carrying out the experiments with the Signet by putting the motor on board as well as a man and seeing what would result— simply experimental work.

 

AEA's Drome No. 4 McCurdy's Silver Dart at H.Q. Hammondsport, Sept., 18, 1908.

AEA’s Drome No. 4 McCurdy’s Silver Dart at H.Q. Hammondsport, Sept., 18, 1908.

 

ADDRESS OF THE CHAIRMAN AT THE WASHINGTON MEETING, SEPTEMBER 26, 1908.

Dr. Bell:— Lieut. Selfridge, however, did not remain very long at Hammondsport as he was ordered to Washington by the War Department. He was transferred to the Signal Corps of the Army and, on account of his expert knowledge of aviation he was made a member of the Aeronautical board of the Army. Thus the members of the Association became scattered. Selfridge was in Washington attending to his military duties; Curtiss and McCurdy were in Hammondsport engaged in the construction of McCurdy’s aerodrome, and Baldwin and I were at Beinn Bhreagh working upon tetrahedral structures.

  • Our aerodrome No. 4, McCurdy’s “Silver-Dart” is now completed and ready for trial.

Mr. McCurdy:— It is all finished except the motor.

  • Dr. Bell:— After Mr. McCurdy has had sufficient time to test out this machine, Mr. Curtiss and Mr. McCurdy will proceed to Nova Scotia where all the surviving members will come together at Beinn Bhreagh to assist me with my tetrahedral structures.

Bulletins, Reports, Telegrams, Letters From Members & Press Despatches.

McCurdy to Mrs. Bell: To Mrs. A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. Hammondsport, N.Y., Oct. 2, 1908:— About Mr. Bell coming to Hammondsport:— The “Silver-Dart was all ready absolutely, all but the engine which is well under way, and we expect to start flying within two weeks time at the outside. Now Mr. Bell said that he would like to come here, if we were all ready to fly at once, but as we were not, there really was nothing for him to do except look at the machine. He was awfully nice about it, and said that he would come if he could be of any use to the game and us, but as it would only mean looking at the structure and going away, and the structure was in general lines, the same as he had already seen he thought that would go right through to Baddeck. He decided at the last to stay over (in Washington) and help out Mrs. Hubbard with her reception; so Casey and Gardiner came on to Hammondsport with Glenn and myself. Casey wanted so much to fly. We had hard luck all round and poor Casey didn’t get in the air. However that is nothing. It has happened lots of times before with all of us. It was so nice being all together again and talking with each other. The pleasure was only marred by one thing and that was the absence of old Tom.*** The weather here is getting pretty bad for flying all the time. Winds blow almost every day. We are staking a lot on the ”Silver-Dart’s future with a new engine. It will be such a satisfaction to have the engine maintain its power indefinitely so that you can come down only when you want to. Casey and Gardiner left for Boston yesterday J.A.D. McC.

RESUME OF THE AERIAL EXPERIMENT ASSOCIATION AT HAMMONDSPORT: Report by G. H. Curtiss, Director of Experiments.

The machine was then experimented with, and further improvements made and embodied in McCurdy’s No.4, “Silver-Dart” which is completed and ready for the engine. The new type of engine is of great power and endurance and has been designed for this machine, which should be a “world beater”. G.H.C.

Hammondsport, N.Y., Oct. 7, 1908:— The new eight cylinder 50 H.P. water-cooled motor being built for the A.E.A. differs from any motors previously built by this company in as much as it is water-cooled, and is of larger cylinder dimensions; the bore is 3 ¾ “and the stroke 4” The cylinders are placed in the form of a “V” four on a side as shown in the sketch, which also gives other dimensions. This motor has mechanical intake valves and is built for durability and constant hard running. The engine alone will weigh about 175 pounds. G.H.C. (A blue print of the motor is appended.)

8 CYLINDER 50 H.P. WATER-COOLED ENGINE FOR SILVER DART.

  • 8 Cylinder 50 H.P. Water-Cooled Engine For Silver Dart
Aerial Experiment Association Blueprint 8 Cylinder 50 H.P. Water-Cooled Engine For Silver Dart. Oct., 7th 1908.

Aerial Experiment Association Blueprint 8 Cylinder 50 H.P. Water-Cooled Engine For Silver Dart. Oct., 7th 1908.

 

Curtiss to Aerial Experiment Association, Hammondsport, N.Y., Oct. 14, 1908:— We enclose prints of the first two aeroplanes photographed together in America. The “June Bug” has been brought down and swung in the roof of the shed to make room for the “Silver-Dart” in the tent. We had some distinguished visitors yesterday, Mr. Schmidt of Washington, and a Mr. Saegmuller of the Bosch-Lomb Optical Co. of Rochester. Mr. Schmidt is one of the most wide-awake, devotees to aviation we have met in a long time; he is also a good mathematician.***The new engine is taking more time than we have ever required to build a new motor. As many men as can work are on it night and day. Everything is now here and it has commenced to assume form. Assembling will be finished this week. G.H. Curtiss.

Curtiss to Mrs. Bell, Hammondsport, N.Y., Oct. 16, 1908:— Am sorry Mr. Bell could not have come to Hammondsport from Washington, and at least seen the “Dart”. We did not think it advisable to attempt flights until the new engine was ready; it could have been tried out with the old “June Bug” engine, but as so much was expected and so many newspaper men and others would be on hand for trials, we thought it would be better to wait until we were sure of accomplishing more than had been done with the June Bug. The moving pictures of the June Bug flights are here, and will be shown for the first time to-night. I wish you could be here to see them. Perhaps we can get copies from the films which can be shown as lantern slides. While this would not be as good as the real moving pictures, it would give a succession of views which would show the action of the machine in the air. I would like to know if you have a lantern at Beinn Bhreagh. I remember of hearing of pictures being shown there last year. G.H. Curtiss.

Bell to Curtiss, Baddeck, N.S., Oct. 20, 1908:— Mr. Baldwin agrees with me that Association should not again try for the trophy until we have succeeded in flying the required distance in private, and we cannot interrupt our experiments to attempt this at the present time. Go ahead with the Silver-Dart and come down here as soon as possible. Hurrah for the dynamite. (Signed) Graham Bell.

Bell to McCurdy, Baddeck, N.S., Oct. 21, 1908:— Notify Secretary of War when you are ready to try the Silver-Dart. Dept. will detail an officer to observe the experiments. Yesterday Casey’s hydroplane boat lifted more than a foot out of water with Casey on board but no engine. Towed seven miles an hour. Pull 50 lbs. Lift 300 lbs, and more. Success encouraging. (Signed) Graham Bell.

 THE ARMY Beinn Bhreagh, Oct. 22, 1908:— In response to my letter to the President of the United States (Bulletin XIII pp 32–33) I have received a communication from the Asst. Secretary of War to the effect that the War Department will detail an officer from the Signal Corps to be present in Hammondsport when the experiments with the new aerodrome are to be tried. I would suggest that both the June Bugand the Silver-Dart should be placed in condition for flight and that every information should be given to the officer who will succeed Lieut. Selfridge as the observer of our experiments in the interests of the United States Army. A.G.B.

 Curtiss to Bell, To A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. Hammondsport, N. Y., Oct. 22, 1908: — We have your letter and in response have mailed seven each of several of the recent pictures taken here, gotten up as best we could, for the Bulletin. We have mailed prints of these before but had left it to you as Editor to select what you wanted. John has sent the “Silver-Dart” drawings to New York for reproduction in Bulletin size, and promises copy in time to print with them. We also have your message in reference to the second trial for the Cup. We have wired Mr. Manley that we would not enter until we had made try-outs here. We assume that if we can fly the 25 kilometers here the first of the week that we could also do it in New York a week from Tuesday, November 3, and that if we were reasonably sure of winning the second “leg” of this three-legged affair and if, as they promised, they pay for the expense of bringing the machine there to make the trials, that you would not object to its being done. I am going to New York to-night to see Manley, look over Morris Park and the course so as to be sure of our ground there. The new motor will be run under its own power for the first time this afternoon and thoroughly tested out tomorrow. This will give us Saturday to get it installed in the “Silver-Dart”, by which time I will have returned from New York and make our first trial not later than Monday, weather permitting. We will wire you to this effect as soon as we are sure of everything on the motor. (Signed) G.H. Curtiss.

Letter: To A. G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S., Hammondsport, N.Y., Oct. 24, 1908:— I am enclosing for you a copy of the paper Mr. Chanute was kind enough to send me. I had made two copies, one for our records which I will keep in a portfolio, and the one I am sending you for your information and perhaps for incorporation into one Bulletin if you see fit. It is very interesting especially as it shows us how Mr. Chanute computed head resistance in his multiple winged glider. I have employed this method and carefully measured all the struts, wires, tubing and bamboo used for structural purposes on the Silver-Dart and computed the head resistance. I will make a full report of this in the article I am trying to write on the differences between the Silver-Dart and June Bug.

The water-cooled motor has been assembled and was run under its own power yesterday morning (Friday Oct. 23). It was only run for about three minutes and then immediately taken down for inspection and adjustment of its parts. This is the usual custom. We hope  to have it complete down at the shed to-morrow (Sunday) afternoon when we will try out our different propellers to ascertain the various pulls. We have designed a propeller somewhat along the lines adopted by the Wright Brothers, copying in general lines that Albatross’ wing represented in the Aeronautical Annual to which I referred in my last note to you. It is 8 ft in diameter, 17° pitch at the tip and has its maximum width of blade one third of the distance from the tip to the axis. It was finished to-day and will be tried out to-morrow. Somehow it looks good to me and we can compare its pull with another propeller of the same general dimension but lacking the wedge shaped cutting edge, it does seem as although the cutting edge ought to be designed so as to shed the air meeting it rather than have to push this mass of air right along before it. We are getting so impatient to try out the Silver-Dart.

Thursday afternoon while we were up at the tent, Mr. H. Champlin came along with his big dog weighing about 40 lbs. and while we stood round the machine talking the dog for some reason or other jumped on to the lower right wing and of course went plump through making an awful hole. Ingraham and I however repaired it to-day so it is as good as new. Just received your telegram about papers you are sending concerning causes of accident to Wright aeroplane. We expect if all goes well to have the first preliminary trials on Monday. I do so wish that you and Mrs. Bell could be here. Mr. Curtiss went to New York yesterday to attend the Vanderbilt race, but will be home, Sunday morning. By the way did you receive a package of photographs I sent you by express about a month, ago. It was a complete set of mounted prints representing our work here up to the end of experiments with the June Bug. Could you also please tell me if that formula for computing the lift of an aeroplane (flat surface) is P‘ Sin × Cos ×/1 plus or minus Sin × I don’t remember and can’t find it in any of the reference books I have here. Casey may know. Maj. Squier will write his part of Tom’s biography, and will have officer here for trials. (Signed) J.A.D. McCurdy.

Bell to McCurdy, Baddeck, N.S., Oct. 24, 1908:— I am sending you paper on the causes of the accident to Orville Wright’s machine. Want you to read it before trying Silver-Dart. (Signed) Graham Bell.

 

Aerial Experiment Association A.E.A.'s June Bug and Silver Dart, , Oct., 12th 1908.

Aerial Experiment Association A.E.A.’s June Bug and Silver Dart, , Oct., 12th 1908.

 

(From Hammondsport Herald, Oct. 28, 1908). SILVER-DART FINISHED.

To Go in the Air this week — Many Aeronautical men expected. The fourth flying machine of the Aerial Experiment Association is finished and in the tent on Stony Brook farm. The engine is also completed and is being thoroughly tested at the shops. It is expected that a flight will be made to-day or to-morrow. The Association is receiving messages from all parts of the country for the date of the try-out, as a large number of aeronautical men will witness it.

McCurdy to Bell, To A.G. Bell, Baddeck, N.S. Hammondsport, N.Y., Oct. 28, 1908:—Engine installed in Silver-Dart. Will balance her up to-morrow and hold trial Friday to Saturday weather permitting. Will notify Secretary of War.

  • (Signed) J.A.D. McCurdy.

(From Hammondsport Herald, Oct. 28, 1908). SILVER-DART FINISHED.

To Go in the Air this week — Many Aeronautical men expected. The fourth flying machine of the Aerial Experiment Association is finished and in the tent on Stony Brook farm. The engine is also completed and is being thoroughly tested at the shops. It is expected that a flight will be made to-day or to-morrow. The Association is receiving messages from all parts of the country for the date of the try-out, as a large number of aeronautical men will witness it.

A DOG TRIES THE SILVER-DART. (The following is from the Hammondsport Herald, Oct. 28, 1908):— H.M. Champlin’s pointer tried out the flying machine, Silver-Dart, the other night in the tent on Stony Brook farm. It failed to support him, even on the ground. He did not confine himself to the aviator’s seat, but climbed out on the wings, the silken surfaces of which were not sufficiently strong at one point to support his weight. He fell through and mabandoned further experiments. The damage was soon repaired.

Beinn Bhreagh, Oct. 31, 1908:— Drome No. 4, McCurdy’s “Silver-Dart”, is now completed and the new engine installed. The machine has been taken to the tent at the Race Track and a telegram is expected every moment announcing its first flight. Photographs of the Silver-Dart appear in this Bulletin. A.G.B.

DROME NO. 4, Beinn Bhreagh, Oct. 31, 1908:— Drome No. 4, McCurdy’s “Silver-Dart”, is now completed and the new engine installed. The machine has been taken to the tent at the Race Track and a telegram is expected every moment announcing its first flight. Photographs of the Silver-Dart appear in this Bulletin. A.G.B.

Curtiss to Bell, Hammondsport, N.Y., Oct. 31, 1908:— Silver-Dart engine installed ready to fly. Pull 300 lbs. Congratulations, good work with hydroplanes.

  • (Signed) G.H. Curtiss.

 

 

Spañard.

 

 .

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s