The Aeronautic Society of New York
from July, 1908, to December, 1909
With the close of the year, The Aeronautic Society has thought it would be inter-
esting, and, perhaps, useful, also, to put on record some account of the doings of
the Society during the past eighteen months. In the following pages, therefore,
will be found a brief story of the accomplishments and efforts of the Society in the first
year and a half of its existence.
Considered solely from the standpoint of public demonstrations, the period of 1908-1909
which this short narrative covers has been one of the most striking in the history of man.
During this period he has made the most wonderful of all his conquests-he has mastered
the secret of flight he has brought beneath the frip of his mighty genius the last and
most subtile of the powers of nature-he has learned to fly! This is a period which all the
ages yet to come will look back upon with admiration and delight.
In making the above statement, and without going fully into the history of the Art, which
would be out of place in this brochure, it is highly essential that at least a passing reference
should be made to the remarkable private demonstrations of Prof. Samuel P. Langley
with his power-driven models in 1896, and his latere experiments with his full-sized, man-
carrying, power-driven aeroplane in 1903, and we must furthermore give the fullest con-
sideration to extraordinary private flights of Messrs. Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903
and 1905 with their man-carrying, power-driven aeroplanes, and finally we must not
leave out of consideration the well-known attempts at flight of Mr. (now Sir) Hiram
S. Maxim in 1894, and M. Clement Ader in 1897, with their man-carrying, power-driven
Of the part that they have had in this great period the members of The Aeronautic
Society of New York may indeed be proud.
Given in summary form alone, the activities of the Society constitute a list which
may well stir a thrill of pride to-day in those to whom it is due, and wihch, in years
to come, will be turned back to whith equal pleasure in the annals of the Metropolis.
In no fewer than a dozen ways, at least, The Aeronautic Society of New York has
led the entire world and set examples that all other similar bodies are now following.
The Aeronautic Society of New York was the first organization in the world formed for
the practical pursuit of the problem of mechanical flight by man. It was the first
aeronautical body in the world to do things, as well as talk things.
It was the first organization in the world to have flying grounds. It was the first in
the world to provide for its members grounds, workshops, sheds, and tools. It was the
first to provide its members with the use of motors wherewith to try out their machines.
It was not only the first in the world, it is to-day, still, the only similar body in the world
providing such assistance.
It was the first aviation society in the world to give a public exhibition of flying
It was the first aereonautical society in the world to look around among the young
inventors in its country, and to give to one of the most promising, Glenn H. Curtiss, a com-
mission to build a flying machine. And it gave the commisssion to him at his own pride, and
paid hnim a large sum in hand to help him start upon the work. And the pleasing results of
this was that, in competition with the most successful inventors and fliers of the Old World,
America was able to win the greatest aviation trophy of the year.
The Aeronautic Society of New York was thus the first aeronautical body in the
world to purchase a flying machine. It was, therefore, the first body in the world to put
aviation on a commercial footing. And it did so at a time when few could foresee the solid
financial basis upon which the flying machine rests to-day.