curious oddities

Anniversary flight of the Silver Dart

Backed by the passion of Alexander Graham Bell and the funds of his wife Mabel, the Aerial Experiment Association was formed. A year, four months, and many test flights later, Canada saw its first powered engine flight.

On February 23, 1909 a group of volunteers on skates pushed The Silver Dart out onto the ice of Baddeck Bay in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Piloted by Baddeck local, Douglas McCurdy, the plane rose almost 9 meters and flew for almost a kilometer and a half at 65 kph.


To mark the 100th anniversary of this first flight, a replica of the Silver Dart was constructed and flown on February 23, 2009. I wish I could have been there to check it out. The plane took and  almost 5 years and a whole lotta cash to construct. Despite a couple of disappointing early test flights, the plane  performed beautifully for the Centennial Celebration.

Here is a video of the replica flight last month

For a bit more on the historical flight The Canadian Centennial of Flight has posted an excerpt of their fabulous 9-part documentary On Canadian Wings.

For More information on the Silver Dart Flight, here is the official site.