J.A.D. MCCURDY was the principal designer and pilot; Glenn H. Curtiss developed the water-cooled engine, an advance on the association's earlier experiments. Pulled on to the ice of Baddeck Bay by horsedrawn sleigh on Feb 23, the silver-winged machine rose on its second attempt after travelling about 30 m, flying at an elevation from 3 to 9 m at roughly 65 km/hr for 0.8 km. Over 100 of Bell's neighbours witnessed the first flight of a British subject anywhere in the Empire. The Silver Dart flew more than 200 times before being damaged beyond repair upon landing in the soft sand of Petawawa, Ont, during military trials in early Aug 1909. The engine was later retrieved and restored and is now on display at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa. A full-scale model of the Silver Dart may be found in Ottawa's National Aviation Museum.
Author NORMAN HILLMER
Links to Other Sites
Canada Aviation Museum
Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy this extensive online image collection of military and civilian aircraft.
Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site of Canada
A unique exhibit complex where models, replicas, photo displays, artifacts, and films describe the fascinating life and work of Alexander Graham Bell. From Parks Canada.
This website is devoted to the history of Canadian military aviation. Features extensive online photo galleries and details about aircraft flown by the Canadian Forces.
The Silver Dart Makes Canadian Aviation History
A pilot's account of his historic 1909 Silver Dart flight. From CBC Digital Arcives.
History of the Air Force
A timeline depicting historic milestones in Canadian military aviation. From the Department of National Defence.
Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers
The website for the Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress. Features correspondence, scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, articles, and photographs documenting Bell's invention of the telephone and his involvement in the first telephone company, his family life, his interest in the education of the deaf, and his aeronautical and other scientific research.
Flight of the Silver Dart Centennial Celebration
Soar into this year-long centennial anniversary celebration of the historic 1909 flight of the Silver Dart. Check out the multimedia features and the "backgrounder" for more details about this memorable event. From the Silver Dart Centennial Association.
Drawings of the original Silver Dart from 1908 have helped in building of replica
A news article about building a flying replica of the Silver Dart. From The Cape Breton Post.
Through Adversity and More
An online illustrated article about the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Centennial of Flight project. From the website for the "Canadian Air Force Journal."
One small step for aviation buffs
Watch a video of a test flight of a Silver Dart replica. From the thestar.com.
Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association
The website for CAPA, an association that promotes the preservation of aircraft, aviation history, and the retention in Canada of artefacts and materials significant to Canadian aviation.
Above Canada and Beyond: Our Aerospace Industry
Explore this online multimedia CBC documentary series that commemorates the centenary of flight in Canada. Includes vivid photography and vignettes featuring Canada's pioneer aviators and pilots of today talking about their love of flying and the challenges associated with serving remote sections of the country.
A Century Aloft: The Rise Of The Silver Dart
A compelling account of the bumpy path that led to the first successful powered flight tests in Canada. From legionmagazine.com.