Mar 09 2019

The 1917 Curtiss Autoplane-An Aerial Limousine Built in Garden City

Cyril Smith has forwarded these photos of the Curtiss Autoplane built and tested in Garden City courtesy of the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York. The Curtiss Autoplane was one of the first attempts to combine an automobile with an airplane. 

Although exhibited at the Pan-American Aeronautic Exposition at New York City in February 1917 to much fanfare, there is no record that the Curtiss Autoplane either flew or drove on a road (even the nearby Long Island Motor Parkway). Several reports indicated that it made "a few hops" before development ended when the United States entered World War I in April 1917.

The Curtiss Autoplane in

The Curtiss Autoplane in Flycarsand


Howard Kroplick

Curtiss Press Release

"A unique combination of an automobile and an airplane"

The Curtiss Engineering Corporation complex in 1925. Courtesy of Richard Panchyck.

The Long Island Motor Parkway can be seen at the top of the aerial.

Curtiss Engineering Corporation, Garden City

Pan-American Aeronautic Exposition, New York City, February 7, 1917

Curtiss Autoplane Sales Brochure

The Curtiss Autoplane-An Aerial Lomousine


Mar 10 2019 S. Berliner, III 12:52 AM

That view down into the factory appears to have been taken from the balcony at the east end of the second story pass-through, visible in the Panchyk pic, between Engineering and the plant.  Does anyone know if it was there in 1917?  It was still there when I worked in the building ca. 1956.  As I’ve noted before, the outline of the south side of the throat of the Curtiss wind tunnel was still visible in the inner south wall then.  Wonder if that’s still in here and could be rescued?  Sam (I’m soooo old - - - ), III :·)

Mar 23 2019 frank femenias 11:25 PM

Sam, don’t think yourself as old, it’ll only make you older. Your work is so much appreciated now by many and for many more generations to come. Maintain Sam III speed as usual, and as fluent as you do. You’ll be glad you did. I wouldn’t have it any other way, as I’m sure many others wouldn’t as well.   

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