Historical photo of a man in an experimental plane
J.A.D. McCurdy sitting in a biplane.
© The City of Toronto Archives/Fonds 1244, Item 79

John A. D. McCurdy was designated a national historic person in 1974.

Historical importance: First person to fly an airplane in the British Empire (Silver Dart, 1909).

Commemorative plaque: Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Chebucto Street, Baddeck, Nova Scotia Footnote 1

Born in Baddeck, John McCurdy was associated with Alexander Graham Bell from an early age. As pilot of the Silver Dart, he made the first airplane flight in Canada here at Baddeck on February 23, 1909. In 1910 he became the first Canadian to be issued a pilot’s licence. A pioneer of the aircraft industry, he was a founder of the Reid Aircraft Co. (1928), and president of Curtiss-Reid Aircraft Ltd. (1929–1939). McCurdy served as assistant director general of aircraft production for the Canadian government (1939–1947) and was later lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia (1947–1952).

 

Silver Dart in flight near Baddeck, Nova Scotia, 1909.
© Library and Archives Canada / PA-061741
Historic photo of an early version of a plane and men
John A.D. McCurdy in 'June Bug' aircraft of the Aerial Experimental Association, ca. 1900-1920.
© J.H. Parkin / Library and Archives Canada / C-003191 / Copyright: Expired
J. A. D. McCurdy sitting in a Curtiss biplane at Daytona Beach, Florida, March 28, 1911.
© Nova Scotia Archives, J. A. D. McCurdy 2007-058 vol. 003 no. 14

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