"The dedication of his engineering talents to the development of manned flight was a prime factor in the birth of North America's aviation industry and has proven to be of outstanding benefit to Canadian aviation.”
John Alexander Douglas McCurdy was educated at Baddeck Academy and in Ontario at the University of Toronto. He became a partner in the Aerial Experiment Association, formed by Alexander Graham Bell and worked on the design and construction of their first aircraft, the Red Wing. On February 23, 1909 he completed the first heavier-than-air machine flight in Canada.
McCurdy also made the first ocean flight from Florida to Cuba and sent and received the first messages while aloft in 1911. He opened Canada's first aviation school and was chiefly responsible for the founding of the Royal Canadian Air Force along with William Barker and "Billy" Bishop.
Born: 12 Aug 1886, Baddeck, NS
Died: 25 June 1961