Curtiss biplane
Curtiss Aeroplanes Will
Fly at South Beach Sunday

St. Augustine Evening Record
St. Augustine, Florida, Monday, March 27, 1911
Collection of Beth Bowen, 11-15-07
      Both of the aeroplanes used in the aviation at South Beach next Sunday afternoon are Curtiss biplanes. This is of importance as the Curtiss machines were the first in cross country flights from city to city, first to be used in bomb dropping experiments, first used for demonstrations of aerial sharpshooting by an officer of the United States army, first to fly from the deck of a United States cruiser and possibly most important of all, the first aeroplane from which a wireless message was ever sent while the machine was in flight. They have done more to demonstrate the practicability of the aeroplane, especially as a military machine, than any other flyer. It will be demonstrated here by two of the men who have been the pioneers in these experiments.
      Besides Curtiss himself, Willard, Ely, McCurdy and Mars have each done a share in the preliminary experimental work which is eventually to make the aeroplane a thing to be reckoned with in warfare as well as commercially. Mr. Curtiss started the year's developments with his historic flight from Albany to New York City when he won the New York World's prize of $10,000. It is a notable fact that when this prize was offered, about eight months before Mr. Curtiss accomplished the feat on his first attempt, it was thought next to impossible for an aeroplane to make the trip and the conditions governing the contest for the prize were such that dirigible balloons were also free to enter.


May Come from Daytona
in His Aeroplane


Would-Be Attempt at World's
Record--Ward Will Also
Arrive Soon

St. Augustine Evening Record
St. Augustine, Florida, Tuesday, March 28, 1911,
Collection of Beth Bowen, 11-15-07
      J. A. D. McCurdy, the fearless aviator who will drive a Curtiss biplane in the aviation meet at South Beach next Sunday afternoon, may fly to the Ancient City for the meet from Daytona, thus trying for a world's record on a long flight. John Ward, the other aviator, will come by train and will be in the city in a day or two.
      Regarding the proposed flight to the Ancient City from Daytona, yesterday's News of that city says:
      In an attempt to establish a new record, J. A. D. McCurdy announced this morning upon his arrival here that on Friday, weather conditions permitting, he would attempt a flight from here to St. Augustine, a distance of about seventy miles as the crow flies. He has a contract to fly at South Beach in the Ancient City, April 2. Congested conditions of the traffic on the Florida East Coast Railway make it imperative that McCurdy fly unless he can secure adequate assurances that his machines will be accepted by the railroad.
      McCurdy stated this morning, that he was anxious to try a long distance flight in Flroida. he has not tried any long flights since his attempt to cross from Key West to Havana, where he was forced to land about ten miles from Moro Castle, because his lubricating oil became exhausted.
      With McCurdy's flights from here to St. Augustine, hordes of inhabitants livign between here and St. Augustine would see an aerooplane. Many of these people, in fact most of them, have never seen an aeroplane in flight and to them it would be the first glimpse of the progress of the new era of civilization.
      The dangesrs attending such a flight as McCurdy is contemplating are unnumbered. With no definite knowledge of where the landing places exist. McCurdy will be attempting a flight over practically a deserted piece of country and stretches of wilderness. If his motor should balk or any of the other thousand and one little mishaps that can make terra firma the safest place for an aviator with his machine, should occur. McCurdy might find himself over a dense swamp or such a vista as a semi-topical conglomeration might greet his vision. Then it would mean a certain wreck to his machine if he should land.
      McCurdy will make one of the most wonderful flights known if he goes to St. Augustine; not wonderful because of the distance, but because of the country lying under him, which affords practically no succor in case of mishap.

Curtiss biplane
John A. D. McCurdy
Library of Congress Collection, 11-22-07


Much Interest in Aviation Meet to Be
'Held at South Beach Next Sunday

St. Augustine Evening Record
St. Augustine, Florida, Wednesday, march 29, 1911
Collection of Beth Bowen, 11-15-07
      All St. Augustine will be at South Beach next Sunday afternoon when J. A. D. McCurdy and John Ward, the noted aviators, will give an exhibition in their Curtiss biplanes. The two aviators will arrive here before the end of the week. The machines will be on exhibition Sunday morning and the flights will be made in the afternoon.
      Tickets are now in the hands of C. F. Hopkins, Jr., and can be obtained Sunday, tickets will be on sale at the bridge office. Those failing to secure tickets there will be required to pay the full price at the beach in addition to their carfare while tickets purchased at the bridge include carfare.
      Regarding McCurdy's flights at Daytona yesterday, the Daytona News, in part, says;
      Greeted by suspicious weather conditions, J. A. D. McCurdy executed two flights on the beach at noon with a Cuttiss biplane, both flights possessing some of the most graceful maneuvers known to aviation. A large crowd witnessed the flights. The last flight covered a distance of about twelve miles with an altitude ranging from 200 to 800 feet. McCurdy guided his craft far out over the surf which glimmered in the sunshine.
      A cross wind sprang up out of the north soon after 9 o'clock this morning; coming at intervals from the northeast and then from the northwest. To the "airwise" it looked ominous for flights, but McCurdy took a bicycle and left his hotel shortly before 10 o'clock, and just before noon, the bird man annouced his intention of attempting a flight.
      Some difficulty was encountered in clearing the beach, people persisting in crowding about the plane. The machine was wheeled down to a point considerably north of the automobile club. McCurdy took his seat in front of the roaring motor, and impetus was given to the plane. Running along the smooth surface for 100 feet, McCurdy tilted his planes and his machine soared upward with the grace of a bird. Then at a point about over the pier at Keating's Casino, the machine took a sharp tilt as McCurdy made a wide turn to go southward. Onward he flew at a tremendous pace, rising higher and higher until he was a mere speck in the clear blue atmosphere. then circling back he came down easily and ran along the beach.

Curtiss Biplane
Round trip on Electric Cars, including admission to grounds $1.00
Official Flight After 12:00 O'clock Noon
Machine on exhibition all Sunday Morning
Probably preliminary flights in morning.
Every man, woman and child in St. Johns county should see the "Bird Men" in flight.

J. A. D. McCurdy
St. Augustine Evening Record
St. Augustine, Florida, Saturday, April 1, 1911
Collection of Beth Bowen, 11-15-07



Exhibition at South Beach a Success
but Utterly a Failure as a
Financial Proposition.

St. Augustine Evening Record
St.Augustine, Florida, Monday, April 3, 1911
Collection of Beth Bowen, 11-15-07
      Making the most daring flights yet seen in Florida, James Ward and J. A. D. McCurdy yesterday afternoon were seen in their aeroplanes at South Beach by thousands of people. The flights were splendid and were greatly enjoyed. Seven flights were made during the day which was far more than was pormised by Mr. C. F. Hopkins, Jr., through whose enterprise the meet was held.
      Mr. Ward made several flights in the "Shooting Star" and in his most daring effort he carried McCurdy as a passenger. Besides straight flying the spiral glide was given and several daring feats with the big flying machine were successfully accomplished.
      From the standpoint of an exhibition it was a great success but from the standpoint of finances it was an utter failure. When the board of trade dropped the effort to bring aeroplanes here for flights Mr. Hopkins took the project up and brought them here himself. He was forced tp gp to heavy expense. The majority at the beach only paid their carfare and refused to pay the admisison to the beach as it is government porperty and thus to add in helping to meet the expenses of the holding of the exhibition. Accordingly it acted as a damper on Mr. Hopkins' public spirit as his loss is no small one. The holding the meet here meant much for St. Augustine.

>John McCurdy

>John McCurdyn
Collection of Jerry Blanchard, 9-9-09

BackNext Home