Silver Dart

 Silver Dart, the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to fly in Canada; designed and built by the Aerial Experiment Assn (Oct 1907-Mar 1909) under Alexander Graham BELL, a flight enthusiast since boyhood. After several successful flights at Hammondsport, NY, early in 1909 the Silver Dart was dismantled, crated and brought to Baddeck Bay, NS, the Bells' Canadian home. The "aerodrome" (Bell's preferred term) had a 14.9 m wingspan and an all-up weight of 390 kg, pilot included.

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.