This object is on display in the Early Flight exhibition at the National Mall building.
Herman A. Ecker learned to fly probably in 1911, making the first flight in his hometown of Syracuse, New York, that same year. After honing his skills as a pilot and an airplane builder with several other aircraft (possibly as many as four), he built the flying boat in the NASM collection probably in 1912 or early 1913. Ecker patterned his airplane closely after the highly successful Curtiss Model E and F flying boats. By 1912, Ecker was taking passengers aloft and doing exhibitions at fairs and other public gatherings. Some of this exhibition flying was certainly done with the aircraft in the NASM collection, but exactly when and where is unknown. Despite the similarity in general appearance with the commercially produced Curtiss flying boat, the Ecker airplane bears the hallmarks of a lone builder, long on enthusiasm and ingenuity, but short on resources and access to the latest technology.
Gift of Herman A. Ecker.
Herman A. Ecker
Country of Origin: United States of America
Wingspan: 12.8 m (42 ft)
Length: 7.9 m (25 ft 11 in)
Height: 4.3 m (14 ft 1 in)
Weight: approximately 800 kg (1,760 lb)
Materials: Airframe: Wood Fabric Covering: Muslin
Physical Description:Biplane flying boat with one 60-horsepower Roberts 6X six-cylinder engine. Hull and struts painted gray, wings and tail natural varnish finish on fabric. Close copy of Curtiss F flying boat.
Inventory number: A19620099000