A quarter scale radio-controlled model of Glenn Curtiss’s June Bug takes to the air. Credit: Jeff Meredith
On June 21, 1908, Glenn Curtis made aerospace history with the first kilometer-long plane flight n his June Bug. One-hundred years later, the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York, honored the event with a celebration including the flight of a quarter-scale radio-controlled model of the plane.
Designed and orchestrated by the Finger Lakes Air Pirates, a group that flies model helicopters, planes, and even lawn mowers (see below), the approximately 7-foot long replica made it’s trip as an audience of Independence Day visitors looked on.
With a sputter and a roar, the airplane took moments to reach it’s destination at the end of the field. The original flight was a little longer, when the June Bug, with it’s nearly 43 foot wingspan, flew over Stony Brook Farm, also in Hammondsport.
For the achievement, Curtiss, a contemporary of the Wright Brothers and Alexander Graham Bell, was awarded the Scientific American Trophy and, the Pilot’s License #1 by the Aero Club of America. As one onlooker remarked, Curtiss is one inventor that doesn’t get his due.
A remote-controlled flying lawnmower also part of the festivities. Credit: Jeff Meredith