Glenn H Curtiss got his start in aviation when he brought his
piston-engine expertise to the Aerial Experimental Association formed in
1908. The first Curtiss aircraft was the June Bug of 1908.
Curtiss struck out on his own with the Curtiss Aeroplane Company in 1910.
Curtiss is well known for its flying boats and JN-4 Jenny of World War I.
Curtiss continued to develop aircraft engines as well as aircraft after
World War I. During the 1920s, Curtiss was famous for its fighters and
racers. As late as 1932, Curtiss accounted for almost two-thirds of the
U.S. Army's expenditures on large engines.
A merger with Wright Aeronautical created Curtiss-Wright in 1929. Curtiss
failed to focus on engine development and lost engine sales during the
1930s. This forced Curtiss to focus on airframes while Wright continued
the engine business.
Curtiss developed several famous aircraft during World War II including
the P-40 Warhawk fighter and the C-46 Commando transport.
Neither Curtiss or Wright successfully made the transition to the jet age
and substantially all aircraft assets were sold to McDonnell and North
American by 1950.