Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Glenn Curtiss is POWER!

Glenn Curtiss had an early interest in bicycles, and opened a bicycle shop in Hammondsport, New York. Not content to sell bicycles, he was soon building his own products, and designing new models. When small, one cylinder motors were put on bicycles, he left the world of bicycles and entered the world of engines and motorcycles. He designed his own lightweight engines, and the motorcycles they powered. In 1907 Curtiss drove a motorcycle with an air cooled V-8 engine to a speed of 136 miles an hour. The engine delivered 40 hp, and weighed 275 pounds. According to a Scientific American article of the day, the motorcycle experienced a broken universal joint at 90 mph, which buckled the frame. The record made him the fastest human on a motorcycle or car, until a car beat that speed 11 years later. A motorcycle would not beat that speed until 1930. Curtiss' speed was actually slower than an earlier Stanley Steamer that achieved 140- 150 mph, but that run was not an officially timed event.

Cutriss was drawn into the field of aviation because of his lightweight yet powerful motors, and competed with the Wright brothers as pioneer aviator and airplane designer. He designed the first float plane, aelerons, and many other new features in airplanes. Curtiss airplanes served in WWI, and Curtiss' company became Curtiss Wright when it merged with the successors of the Wright Brothers.

No comments:

Post a Comment