Birthplace of the Flying Boat
In New York's Finger Lakes region, Hammondsport sits at the southern end of Keuka Lake. It is home to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, which is within walking distance of the aviation pioneer's birthplace and his early aircraft factories. Because of Curtiss' work with the Navy-he trained the first naval aviator and pioneered the launch and recovery of aircraft from ships-he is considered the father of naval aviation.
The calm lake was a boon to Curtiss' early aircraft design and testing. In winter, its frozen surface provided a smooth, flat runway for wheeled or ski-equipped aircraft. Today, Keuka Lake hosts the museum's Seaplane Homecoming Weekend, a September gathering of vintage and contemporary seaplanes and an event well worth attending.