- Historic Sites
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Creator:Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
"It was upon the wings of the A-1 Triad, the U.S. Navy's first aircraft, that U.S. naval aviation took flight. Ordered in May 1911, just months after civilian pilot Eugene Ely successfully demonstrated that an aircraft could operate from a ship and aircraft manufacturer Glenn Curtiss demonstrated the feasibility of landing an aircraft alongside a ship so that it could brought aboard and put over the side by a crane, the A-1 was nicknamed Triad because with a pontoon float and retractable landing gear it could fly from both water and land. The A-1 was the airplane in which the Navy's first aviators, including Lieutenants Theodore G. Ellyson and John H. Towers, learned to fly. As would be expected of the Navy's first aircraft, the Triad was the platform for early experiments, including making the first night water landing without the benefit of landing lights, tests in airborne wireless communication, and a cross-country flight covering a distance of 112 miles in 122 minutes. It also participated in early catapult trials, though both Ellyson and the aircraft plunked into the Severn River during a firing of a compressed air catapult on 31 July 1912. It proved but one of many minor accidents encountered during the airplane's service, but the A-1's luck eventually ran out. After 285 flights and numerous rebuilds, it was damaged beyond repair in a crash on 6 October 1912.
The aircraft on display is a replica built to commemorate the Golden Anniversary of U.S. Naval Aviation in 1961."
Length: 28 ft., 7 1/8 in.; Height: 8 ft., 10 in.; Wingspan: 37 ft.
Location:1750 Radford Blvd., Pensacola, Florida, 32508