The Model D was one of the first planes to use ailerons for banking or rolling, instead of employing the Wright brothers’ system of wing warping.

This use of ailerons came at the suggestion of Alexander Graham Bell, benefactor and founder of the A.E.A. (Aerial Experiment Association), a Canadian-American aeronautical research group formed under his leadership in 1907. Bell’s wife Mabel Bell, who was independently wealthy, financed the Association. Early AEA member Glenn Curtiss joined the likes of Thomas Selfridge (the first Army pilot to fly an aeroplane and the first person killed in an aircraft accident) in the attempt “to get into the air.” The Model D was also the first airplane to take off from (November 1910) and land (January 1911) on an anchored ship. The famous early stunt pilot Lincoln Beachey used a modified D to become one of the first pilots to loop the loop.

Specifications: Replica. Span: 27ft. 9in., Length: 20ft. 7in.. engine: 90 hp V-8 Curtiss OX-5 (original); 145 hp Continental flat six (replica). Top Speed: 58 mph.

Accession no. 1975G06

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