1911 Curtiss-Ely Pusher Replica Is First Aircraft Slated For
Naval Celebration At EAA Airventure 2011
We know ... it's not even Thanksgiving and there most of us
haven't thought much beyond next Tuesday, but the folks organizing
AirVenture 2011 are already lining up next year's show, and the
first airplane in line is pretty interesting. A 1911 Curtiss-Ely
Pusher replica is the first confirmation in what is expected to be
a feature-filled aircraft lineup celebrating the 100th anniversary
of naval aviation at EAA AirVenture 2011, which will be held (mark
your calendars) July 25-31, 2011.
Curtiss Pusher File Photo
The Curtiss-Ely Pusher replica, built by Bob Coolbaugh of New
Market, VA, with assistance from Andrew King of Vienna, VA,
resembles the one that made the first carrier landing on the deck
of the U.S. Navy's USS Pennsylvania in the San Francisco Bay on
January 11, 1911 - beginning the era of naval aviation.
The U.S. Navy will celebrate the Centennial of Naval Aviation
(CONA) throughout next year and has designated EAA AirVenture 2011
as a Tier 1 Event.
"This Curtiss-Ely Pusher replica illustrates two key elements
that make EAA and AirVenture so special, the premier event to see
historic, pioneering aircraft and the dedication shown by two EAA
members to recreate history," said Tom Poberezny, EAA and
AirVenture chairman. "This Curtiss-Ely Pusher replica is one of
many aircraft can look forward to seeing up close as we celebrate
the important role aviation has served in the U.S. Navy over the
past 100 years."
U.S. Navy Photo
The Curtiss-Ely Pusher replica, which took nearly two years to
build, is powered by a 125-hp Continental engine turning a Sterba
74x40 propeller. Coolbaugh, a former airline pilot with 24,000
flight hours, plans to fly the Curtiss-Ely Pusher replica to as
many as eight designated CONA events in 2011, including AirVenture
- the farthest west he would travel.
The aircraft successfully flew for the first time on a grass
strip adjacent to Runway 6/24 at the New Market Airport on Oct. 8.
By Oct. 14, Coolbaugh and King, an antique and vintage aircraft
restorer with nearly 3,000 flight hours logged, combined to make 17
flights, averaging 20-45 minutes in duration.
In addition to naval aviation celebration, the centennial of air
mail service is being recognized in 2011, and events at Oshkosh
will include that notable anniversary as well.