On october 8 at New Market Airport, Virginia, USA, Bob Coolbaugh made the maiden flight of his replica 1911 Curtiss-Ely Pusher. The retired navy/airline pilot has spent more than 6,000hr building the Curtiss since work began during the summer of 2008. On November 12, the 125 h.p. Continental C-125- powered machine is due to fly at Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia, during the centenary celebrations of Eugene Ely’s November 1910 flight in a Curtiss from the USS Birmingham, the first time an aeroplane had taken off from a ship.
On October 20 Bob said, “We now have 21 test flights completed, and are making small changes as we go, to improve handling. I now have a huge respect for the pilots of 100 years ago!” The Curtiss will appear at many Naval Aviation centenary events in 2011.