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1909 Curtiss Pusher

The elaborately constructed Curtiss Pusher captured the imagination of people worldwide. Unique design features of the bi-plane include positioning the propeller and revolutionary Curtiss OX-5 engine behind the pilot were revolutionary designs at the time.

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Aircraft Specs
  • Wingspan 38 feet, 3 inches
  • Length 29 feet, 3 inches
  • Empty Weight Guessing at around 500 lbs.
  • Powerplant An original OX-5 engine
  • Crew 1
  • Max. Speed around 50 mph
  • Service Ceiling Try your best!
  • Range 80 miles - with the wind at your back.
  • Glenn Curtiss - Aviation Pioneer

    The Model D was an early US aircraft, and among the first aircraft in the world to be built in any quantity. It was based on Glenn Curtiss' Golden Flyer design of 1909, itself derived from his June Bug of 1908. The Model D could be bought with one of several Curtiss engines: 40, 60 or 75 horsepower. It was the basis for one of Curtiss's most famous achievements - the first amphibian airplane capable of landing on and taking off from land or water.

  • The Curtiss Comes To Life

    Wonderful article about the Collings Curtiss restoration written by Bud Davisson. Featured EAA's December 2016 Sport Aviation magazine. Vol. 65 No. 12

Born in 1878, Glenn Curtiss was an aviation pioneer of the United States
aircraft industry. Curtiss began his career building bicycles. Mastering the day’s best technology, he moved on to create intricately designed motorcycles. Testament to his ingenuity was his ability to make the most efficient parts from crude materials. For example, his first motorcycle sported a powerful carburetor fabricated from a tomato soup can with a gauze screen. In 1907, Curtiss raced his V-8 motorcycle to a speed record of 136 mph. His success in engine design propelled him into aviation.

The 1900s took off with a fanatic craze of flying machines. In 1909, Glenn Curtiss contributed his Curtiss Pusher to this growing industry. The elaborately constructed plane captured the imagination of people worldwide. Unique design features of the bi-plane include positioning the propeller and revolutionary Curtiss OX-5 engine behind the pilot. Curtis continued to innovate for decades, developing new models of aircraft until his death in 1930.

Original Pusher parts and engines were thought lost to history until the Collings Foundation came across some remarkable treasures; 84 original Pusher airframe parts, ribs and spars in a Massachusetts attic and an OX-5 engine in a Pennsylvania basement. This launched an extraordinary restoration effort.

Century Aviation, based in East Wenatchee, Washington, took on the project. This team of world-class aircraft restoration experts is known for its displays at the Smithsonian and the Air Force Museum. They were pleasantly surprised to find the Pusher Aircraft parts arrive wrapped in August, 1915 Boston Globe newspapers. Over a two year period Century Aviation has meticulously restored and re-built the Pusher to airworthy condition.

*The Curtiss Pusher is located at the Hangar Annex of the American Heritage Museum currently and is not open to the public other than for select special event weekends. See the Event Calendar at this link for these weekends. 



The American Heritage Museum will be open for MA Spring Break Week (April 15-21) including Monday, April 15th and Tuesday, April 16th. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Free Admission Day on Tuesday, April 16th funded by a grant from the Highland Street Foundation's Spring Week 2024 Program.