Cambridge, MA. – June 14, 1910

Cambridge, Massachusetts – June 14, 1910    

Vintage postcard view of a
Curtiss Airplane

     At abo0ut 8:00 p. m. on the night of June 14, 1910, a Harvard University student who was also the President of the Harvard Aeronautical Society decided to take the Society’s airplane, the “Harvard I”, for a test flight.  The aircraft was a Curtis style single engine, biplane, which members of the Aeronautical Society had built themselves, and was kept in a storage building at Soldiers Field in Cambridge. 

     In the area where the pilot attempted to take off was a debris laden dump, about 50 yards away from where the aircraft sat warming up, which was likely hard to see due to darkness.  When the pilot attempted to take off, the aircraft picked up speed with the dump ahead.  Before the pilot could stop the plane it crashed into the dump where the impact tore away the landing gear and caused considerable damage to the fuselage.   The pilot was not injured.

     It was reported that repairs to the aircraft would take about a week.   

     To learn more about the Harvard Aeronautical Society click on this link: Harvard Aeronautical Society 


     New York Tribune, “Harvard Biplane Wrecked – Secret Flight At Night Disastrous To Crimson Airship”, June 14, 1910

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