During the period when this aircraft was built Curtiss and Wright are engaged in a major legal rivalry. The Wright Brothers claimed to hold the patent on ALL heavier-than-air airplanes. However, Curtiss rejected their claim on the grounds that his airplanes featured an entirely different control system, including the invention of ailerons (clearly shown between the airplanes wings in the photo above). In contrast, Wright airpanes were controlled by wing-warping. Ailerons were an enormous improvement because it meant that the wings did not have to be constructed thin enough to be flexible which, in turn, meant that airplanes could be constructed stronger and larger. Apart from that, Curtiss and Wright airplanes featured entirely different systems of pilot controls. As a result, since early Army aviators were trained by Wright and Curtis company pilots, the Army ended up with a set of "Curtiss Pilots" and "Wright Pilots", neither of whom were capable of flying the other company's airplanes. That insanity persisted until early 1917, when the Army Air Service was finally removed from the stifling control of the Signal Corps and established as a separate branch of the Army.
Fred Quam, e-mail, 29.01.2012 04:27
Am looking for information about a pilot named Robert "luckey Bob'St. Henry Who flew the ModelD at fargo, ND in 1911 making three flights.
Bob Coolbaugh, e-mail, 04.11.2010 10:24
The photo shows a late 1909 or 1910 Curtiss with the biplane canard and fixed stabilizer. By mid-1910 and into 1911, the Curtiss Model D varients all had single plane canards and swallow tails with a large fixed stabilizer and two independently controlled elevators. I am currently flying a 1911 replica and have done a lot of research.
Rick Kirkland, e-mail, 29.07.2008 22:06
I believe that I have an original photo of the Model D, Dated April 6, 1911, although I am not sure who the 3 men are in the photo... It was given to my Father as a child and passed along... I would love to know more History of the photo, if someone would be interested in taking a look... Please feel free to contact me...
Rick Kirkland 807 West 13th St. Front Royal, VA. 22630 540-635-1242