Curtiss A-1 Triad
The Museum’s Curtiss A-1 Triad has been lowered from the rotunda ceiling and transported to our restoration facility at Gillespie Field in El Cajon. Our dedicated volunteers will now closely examine the plane to determine its airworthiness. If the aircraft proves flyable, it will be prepped to take part in the Centennial of Naval Aviation celebration in February of 2011 at North Island where it will be flown from the waters of San Diego Bay just as it was 100 years ago when Glen Curtiss and Eugene Ely first demonstrated the aircraft to the Navy.
In May of 1911, the Navy ordered two examples of the Triad and Curtiss would personally train the first Naval Aviator, T. G. Ellyson, in the art of flying the machine at his aviation camp on what is now North Island.
After a two year renovation, the Museum’s Nieuport 11 reproduction is at last ready to return to Balboa Park and hang in our World War I gallery. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Gillespie Field Annex restoration volunteers who completely stripped the fuselage, installed new cover material, and then refurbished and repainted the entire aircraft. Exhibit department paint specialist, Mark Weixeldorfer, put the finishing touches on this very popular aircraft in preparation for her homecoming during the first week of November.