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Curtiss Gold Bug / Golden Flyer



Curtiss No.1 Gold Bug / Golden Flyer


Developed from the earlier AEA June Bug, the 1909 Golden Flyer represented an important compromise between stability and controllability. It started the main rival biplane tradition to the Wright Flyer in the United States.

Relatively easy to fly, this aircraft became popular as a safe, sporting machine. It won the prize for the longest distance flown during the great airshow at Rheims in 1909, which was attended by a quarter of a million people.




A single-seat model ordered by the Aeronautical Society of New York on 2 March, 1909, the purchase price of $5,000 included instruction for two Society members. With no designation, No.1 was initially called Gold Bug because of the golden tint of the varnished fabric but later officially became the Golden Flyer.

Curtiss delivered the Curtiss No. 1 on May 29, 1909. Several copies were made for the Aeronautic Society of New York as their Model D.



Engine: One 50 hp Curtiss.
Length 28 ft (8.5m)
Wing span 29 ft (8.8m)
Weight empty 550 lb (250 kg)
Seats: 1.
Speed: 45 mph (72 kph).


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