This Day in History – February 17, 1911 – Curtiss lands alongside the USS Pennsylvania and his plane, a Model D-III, is hoisted onto the deck with a crane, and then put back in the water.  He was demonstrating to the US Navy the feasibility using aircraft in fleet operations. One month early, Eugene Ely as part of the Curtiss Expedition Team, landed on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania, and later took off from the deck of the ship.  Soon after, the Navy purchased its first airplane.

Photo courtesy Leslie Crawford Collection.