A special exhibit honoring the Centennial of Naval Aviation will open at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, N.Y., on Saturday, April 30. The exhibit features the museum’s reproduction of the 1911 Curtiss A-1 Triad, the U.S. Navy’s first aircraft. Seated in this seaplane are realistic figures of aviation pioneer and Hammondsport native, Glenn Hammond Curtiss, with his student, Lt. Theodore Ellyson, who was to become U.S. Naval Aviator number 1.
The exhibit opening marks the beginning of the museum’s Centennial of Naval Aviation celebrations. The handover of the first A-1 Seaplane to the Navy will be re-enacted on the afternoon of July 2, 100 years to the day after the actual event. Weather permitting, the A-1 will be flown over Keuka Lake at 2 p.m.
Centennial celebrations will continue with a gala on the evening of July 2. Captain Chuck Downey, the youngest Navy pilot to serve in World War II, will be the featured speaker.
“Taking off and landing on water is something that we take for granted,” says Curtiss Museum Executive Director Trafford Doherty. “What brought us to this point was the work performed by Curtiss to make the seaplane a practical reality and this is considered to be his principal achievement. Visitors to the exhibit will be amazed at how far aviation has progressed in 100 years and they will gain a strong sense of the great risks faced by early aviators. Flying is a quick and safe way to travel today, thanks to the tremendous courage of Glenn Curtiss and his fellow aviators and to their dedicated efforts toward the advancement of aviation.”
Admission to the Centennial of Naval Aviation exhibit is included in the regular museum admission of $7.50 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4.50 for students ages 7 to 18 and $20 for families. Children ages 6 and under are admitted free. The museum, which is located at 8419 State Rt. 54 in Hammondsport, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and every Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.
For more information: GlennHCurtissMuseum.org