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
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
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.