Glenn Curtiss: The Forgotten Eagle

2005 NYS EMMY AWARD - Best Historical/Cultural Programming: Single Program or Special

Glenn Curtiss: The Forgotten Eagle highlights the life of Southern Tier native, Glenn Hammond Curtiss. This is the first documentary ever produced on one of aviation's key founding fathers.

Glenn Curtiss is credited with with the first publicly announced flight of an airplane in the United States, taking place in Hammondsport, NY on July 4, 1908. He was also the first to fly from city to city, making his destination from Albany to Manhattan on May 29, 1910.

This fascinating story has nearly faded from history, overshadowed by the legend of the Wright Brothers. Interviews with numerous, credited historians are woven throughout this documentary. As the story unfolds, historians claim that Curtiss, more so than the Wright Brothers, had a significant influence on bringing the airplane into the modern age.

Glenn Curtiss: The Forgotten Eagle discusses the unknown controversies, in particular, the debate over the patent infringement of the wing design. For years, Curtiss and the Wrights battled in court over what the Wrights argued to be patent infringement. Curtiss' design using wind flaps, which the Wrights never specifically claimed in their patent, is a key element still used in aviation today.

Unknown to most, Curtiss is also considered the father of naval aviation. In 1912 on Keuka Lake, he reconstructed an airplane to have the hull of a boat, and was able to successfully fly and land in the water. Glenn Curtiss was the first man to prove that planes would be able to take off and land from a carrier at sea. His invention of the hydro-airplane is what we call today the flying boat.

Glenn Curtiss: The Forgotten Eagle is written and produced by WSKG's Brian Frey, who says "I want to tell the other half of the story regarding the birth of aviation, beyond what happened at Kitty Hawk."