Silver Dart
     A recent issue of Flight Horizons, published by Trans-Canda Air Lines, printed the accompanying picture of Early Bird John A. McCurdy and the Flying Dart along with information taken from Frank Ellis' book "Canada's Flying Heritage," covering the first Canadian flight. The item in Flight Horizons ran as follows:
     Back in 1909 the flight of this aircraft made Canadian history when John A. McCurdy flew it for over half a mile above the frozen surface of Bras d'Or Lake at Baddeck Bay, N.S.
     Recognized as the first flight by a British subject at any point in the British Commonwealth, and the first airplane to fly in Canada, the Silver Dart, was built by a group known as the Aerial Experiment Association.
     Frank Ellis in his book, "Canada's Flying Heritage" (published by the University of Toronto Press) reveals that the Association consisted of three people--Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, John McCurdy and Frederick (Casey) Baldwin; the expenses of the trio were underwritten by Mrs. Bell.
     It was a famous group, for Dr. Bell had invented the telephone, and Baldwin was the first British subject ever to fly (a flight he made in the U.S.A.). McCurdy later became lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia.
     Autographed copies of Ellis' book, "Canada's Flying Heritage" can be obtained through the EB treasurer's office.
Photo and text from the Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, March, 1957, Number 56

     If you search for "John A. D. McCurdy +aviation" using the Google search engine, (11-20-07), you will find about 342 links! I suggest that you vist as many of them as time permits.
John Alexander Douglas McCurdy (1886-1961)
presented by
Discovery Channel &
Canada Aviation Museum
     This is a very helpful site which is available on the Flight Deck website. You will find a nice story of the flight of the Silver Dart and four other small photos on the page which wouldn't enlarge the last time I looked. (11-20-07). Unfortunately, some of the links on the site didn't work either.
     To access the story on the Flight Deck website, click on the main title above.

     On the Air Mail Pioneer's site, you will find a nice picture of the White Wing, making the first public Hammondsport, NY. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
     I heartily recommend that you browse the whole site by clicking on:
Air Mail Pioneers


The Story of the Early Birds
Man's first decade of flight from Kitty Hawk to World War I
Henry Serrano Villard

Foreward by S. PAUL JOHNSTON
Director, National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution

In today's age of space probes and moon rockets, it is hard to believe that the aeroplane is scarcely sixty years old. Here Henry Serrano Villard, who knew many of the pioneer pilots and flew in their "bits of stick and string,"re-creates the romantic era when man first dared the miracle of flight. His anecdotal account, illustrated with 125 photographs--many from his personal album--covers the decade and a half of aeronautical history from the Wright brothers' exploits at Kitty Hawk to the outbreak of World War I.
     Here is an excerpt from his book in which McCurdy is pictured on page 25:

"An early flight entusiast, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell (center) formed an experimental group in 1907 to "Build a pradtical aeroplane that will carry a majn." Shown with Bell at this Nova Scot5ia home are (left to right) Glenn H. Curtiss, John H McCurdy, F. W Baldwin, and Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge.

Editor's Note:

     I had the pleasure of knowing Henry for several years before his death. I found him to be a delightful companion and a remarkable source of information on the entire field of aviation. I can recommend his book, without hesitation, as an essential resource for anyone interested in the history of early aviation.

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