Like Australia, Canada’s place in world kite history occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. Alexander Graham Bell’s experiments with tetrahedral kites and his establishment of the Aerial Experiment Association led to the first powered aircraft flights in Canada. The AEA brought together an impressive group of early aeronauts; Douglas McCurdy, Casey Baldwin, Glenn Curtiss, and Thomas Selfridge.
Bell’s tetrahedral kites are still unprecedented. The largest, 1907’s Cygnet, consisted of 3300 cells. From the short hops of their first airplane, the Red Wing, to the public, Scientific American-Trophy-winning flights of the June Bug (July, 1908), the AEA expired in March of 1909. Curtiss established his own company and shocked the aviation world by winning the 1909 Gordon-Bennett Trophy in Rheims, France.