Author Topic: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle  (Read 1009 times)

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« on: October 16, 2021, 02:49:56 PM »
big cajones, indeed.. :smiley:
https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2021/10/how-aviation-pioneer-glenn-curtiss-set-a-136-mph-land-speed-record-with-his-v8-powered-motorcycle/

" All I could see was a streak of beach with wild surf on one side, sand hills on the other and a black spot where the crowd was. The machine set up a terrific and inexplicable vibration; it was so great that it did not create wholly comforting thoughts.”
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 03:00:29 PM by Chuck in Indiana »
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2021, 04:12:47 PM »
Amazing read and piece of history.  Amazing , a 100 H.P. v8 at only 300 lbs. of that error speaks volumes  to his engineering prowess.  130 plus mph on a bicycle basically . kahunas beyond belief !  I wouldn't even dare do that on a modern super bike.  Thanks for sharing Chuck.

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2021, 05:36:27 PM »
The Glenn Curtis museum in Hammondsport New York is fantastic!
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Offline cliffrod

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2021, 06:07:26 PM »
I've always wanted to go to the museum.  He did some really incredible things.   
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2021, 06:07:26 PM »

Online PeteS

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2021, 06:18:50 PM »
You can read more about him at Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Curtiss

I was surprised to learn he got out of the airplane business right after WWI. Later designed cars and travel trailers among other things.

One of the stories told at the museum was that he had a girlfriend in Buffalo, NY which is over 100 miles from Hammondsport as the crow flies.  He would ride his bicycle to see her. Most of the way is fairly hilly and I doubt there were many if any paved roads back then.

Pete
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 06:23:55 PM by PeteS »

Offline Ratso88

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2021, 07:25:05 PM »
I believe it, "did not create wholly comforting thoughts".

I can't imagine Curtiss was making repeated passes just for kicks. Brass balls indeed.

Looking back at what seem like key people to me/us now, I wonder what it was that led these individuals go down the paths they traveled. Circumstance? Opportunity? The will to push forward? All of the above and more that we are unaware of?

But riding a bicycle 100 miles to see a girl friend? Crazy talk. Last time I rode a bicycle to see a girl friend I was 13 or 14. After that, well you know, Motorcycle. Been that way ever since, worked every time.

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2021, 08:36:02 PM »
Amazing read and piece of history.  Amazing , a 100 H.P. v8 at only 300 lbs. of that error speaks volumes  to his engineering prowess.  130 plus mph on a bicycle basically . kahunas beyond belief !  I wouldn't even dare do that on a modern super bike.  Thanks for sharing Chuck.

Agreed...and let's cut right to the chase...we are talking here about 1907!! :thumb: :bow: :cool: :boozing:

Imagine 136 mph hanging on for dear life....on this contraption!!  :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :shocked: :shocked: :huh: :huh:



« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 10:47:49 AM by JJ »
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2021, 10:47:13 PM »
Thanks Chuck!
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Offline Motormike

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2021, 08:51:18 AM »


Just visited the Curtiss Museum last month on the way back from Americade.  Wonderful museum and worth the stop.  They have a reproduction of the V8 bike on display.  It was amazing what Glen Curtiss was able to accomplish in his relatively short life.  He died at age 52 due to complications from appendicitis.  So, excluding his childhood, everything you see in that museum, all of his accomplishments and inventions, took place over roughly 30 years.  Amazing.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 08:54:19 AM by Motormike »

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2021, 08:42:10 AM »
We haven't been to the Curtiss museum for quite a while, but it's not just about airplanes.  :smiley: He was a mechanical genius for sure. If the Wright Bros had been more open to his offer to join companies and him be the powerplant guy instead of trying to defend their patents, there is no telling how rapidly early aviation would have progressed.
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2021, 10:42:43 AM »
We haven't been to the Curtiss museum for quite a while, but it's not just about airplanes.  :smiley: He was a mechanical genius for sure. If the Wright Bros had been more open to his offer to join companies and him be the powerplant guy instead of trying to defend their patents, there is no telling how rapidly early aviation would have progressed.
Curtiss and Wight companies joined together in 1929, a year before Curtiss died.....
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Offline Alfetta

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2021, 10:55:21 AM »
If the Wright Bros had been more open to his offer to join companies and him be the powerplant guy instead of trying to defend their patents, there is no telling how rapidly early aviation would have progressed.

I'm guessing not as far as one would expect, I would expect at some point (fairly early) the Wrights and Curtis would have differing idea's and that would lead to a fracture. I would almost bet that if Curtis presented a concept that would removed a patent claim, the Wights would have crapped their collective pants...   Them Boys truly missed their own boat !
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Offline dguzzi

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2021, 06:30:54 PM »
  Hey buddy, that's Curtiss with 2 'S' ( I have to tell people all the time...(My name is Curtiss too)

   No relation but check Curtiss Knives online.
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2021, 09:33:38 AM »
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Online PeteS

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2021, 10:28:25 AM »
Along those lines here are some photos of the Curtiss-Wright P40 factory in Buffalo, NY. It brought my Dad to Buffalo where he met my Mom and I guess the reason I even exist. I was not able to find anyone in those pictures that appear to be my Dad though.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/35963591@N00/sets/72157622864527612/

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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2021, 01:44:25 PM »
Along those lines here are some photos of the Curtiss-Wright P40 factory in Buffalo, NY. It brought my Dad to Buffalo where he met my Mom and I guess the reason I even exist. I was not able to find anyone in those pictures that appear to be my Dad though.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/35963591@N00/sets/72157622864527612/

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*Very* kool historical photos.  :thumb:
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2021, 12:20:53 PM »
Glenn Curtiss has always been a hero, in my mind . 'Glenn Curtiss Pioneer of Flight', by C.R. Roseberry is a favorite book. ~500 pages. Paper back.
The original museum was a great experience; holding every article from the hand of the man himself. A neighboring Gage company, that may still exist!

Imagine test flights off the lake, regardless of weather. A small community of like minded men to invent/create instruments, bits and pieces, shared thought and goals!
 
Racing trains from Albany to NYC.  IIRC: He invented ailerons and certainly more efficient pontoons.

All that while wearing a shirt and tie.

Thank you for stirring the pot, Chuck.   R3~
























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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2021, 08:16:20 AM »
Glenn Curtiss has always been a hero, in my mind . 'Glenn Curtiss Pioneer of Flight', by C.R. Roseberry is a favorite book. ~500 pages. Paper back.
The original museum was a great experience; holding every article from the hand of the man himself. A neighboring Gage company, that may still exist!

Imagine test flights off the lake, regardless of weather. A small community of like minded men to invent/create instruments, bits and pieces, shared thought and goals!
 
Racing trains from Albany to NYC.  IIRC: He invented ailerons and certainly more efficient pontoons.

All that while wearing a shirt and tie.

Thank you for stirring the pot, Chuck.   R3

Oh yeah. One of my heros.  :smiley:
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Offline n3303j

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2021, 10:16:51 AM »
Loved the museum.
Read an autobiography.
Guy was really pleased with himself.
Very innovative individual who knew how to market his product.
Somewhat ruthless as he "borrowed " Wright Bros patent without paying.
Then (with the aid of Henry Ford's lawyers) tied up the Wright Brothers in court until one of the Wright Brothers died. The remaining brother never forgave Curtiss.
Curtis was as ruthless as the rest (the cost of progress I guess).
He died of a botched appendix operation.
Karma is a bitch!
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Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2021, 10:36:30 AM »
Quote
Somewhat ruthless as he "borrowed " Wright Bros patent without paying.
:smiley:
Quote
Beginning in 2011, Russell Klingaman—a prominent Wisconsin aviation/patent attorney, aviation law journalist, and instructor in Aviation Law at Marquette University Law School[36][37][38]—researched, prepared and delivered a series of lectures, at major aviation events and lawyers' organizations, analyzing and decrying the events and outcomes of the Wright-Curtiss lawsuit, citing numerous examples of error or misconduct by various parties to the suit, including attorneys and the judge. Klingaman found that the judge in the case allowed the Wrights' attorney to make his case in a private ("ex-parte") hearing with the judge, without the opposing side present, and discovered other misconduct which he believes led to a legally inappropriate outcome.[39][40][41]
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2021, 03:24:19 PM »
I learned of the 're-sorted' court case. Very interesting project. Never found it in a minimal search.

I've been highly pi**ed for many years; putting huge miles in and around NYS, by car, MC & trucks. PO'd I say? None of the Thruway rest areas carried any Curtiss Muse' literature - at least in the 40+ years I was paying attention. Cranky ol' bast - - - here.  R3~

Offline JL Rich

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2021, 09:49:32 PM »
Saw his bike at the Smithsonian in the display with the Wright Flyer.  It was a shock to see it and I'll never forget it.

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2021, 12:10:36 AM »
Anyone here have an opinion on Connecticut's Gustave Whitehead? just say'n   R3~

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2021, 09:34:55 AM »
Charlie

Offline Chuck in Indiana

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Chuck in (Elwood) Indiana/sometimes SoCal

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 "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
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Offline n3303j

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2021, 08:55:13 PM »




Not sure whether it's the original at Smithsonian or this one at Curtis Museum in Hammondsport,  NY.
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2021, 07:22:36 PM »
Thank you Charlie. Very glad you posted the Hagerty piece here. For whatever reason I wasn't copied.  R3~

Offline Testarossa

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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2021, 11:38:44 PM »
Quote
Curtiss and Wight companies joined together in 1929, a year before Curtiss died.....

The Federal government essentially forced Wright to merge with Curtiss to resolve the Wright patent deadlock that stalled American progress in airframe design up to WWI and into the '20s. The Wrights had a patent on wingwarping and thought it should cover any mechanism to bank the plane. They sued any and all competitors for licensing fees. The situation had to be resolved if only to get American factories into the business of building military planes -- Curtiss was a pioneer in building planes for both the Navy and Army while Wright stuck with wingwarping. Building larger, heavier, faster airplanes was impossible with wingwarping for pretty obvious reasons.
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Re: Glen Curtiss V8 motorcycle
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2021, 02:38:51 PM »
More Curtiss: 1907 Berliet with Curtiss aero engine.

https://youtu.be/rykAu7Vpd1I
https://flic.kr/p/gTiM4R
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