One museum, two locations
Visit us in Washington, DC and Chantilly, VA to explore hundreds of the world’s most significant objects in aviation and space history.
National Air and Space Museum in DC
Udvar-Hazy Center in VA
Plan a field trip
At the museum and online
Discover our exhibitions and participate in programs both in person or virtually.
Dive deep into air and space
Browse our collections, stories, research, and on demand content.
For teachers and parents
Bring the Air and Space Museum to your learners, wherever you are.
Plan a field trip
Educator professional development
Education monthly theme
Be the spark
Your support will help fund exhibitions, educational programming, and preservation efforts.
Become a member
Wall of Honor
Ways to give
Host an Event
Cutiss V-8 Motorcycle
Before achieving fame in aeronautics, Glenn Curtiss started his career with motorcycles. The early aviation community began to seek out Curtiss because of his growing reputation for designing powerful, lightweight motorcycle engines. In 1906 he designed his first V-8 engine in response to several requests from early aeronautical experimenters.
As a manufacturer and racer of motorcycles, it was only natural for Curtiss to wonder how fast he could move on a motorcycle with his V--8. He instructed his workers to construct a frame that could support the weight of the engine. The Curtiss V-8 was air-cooled, producing approximately 30 to 40 horsepower at 1,800 rpm. The motorcycle used direct drive because a conventional chain-and-belt transmission could not withstand the power of the massive engine. Curtiss took the motorcycle to the Florida Speed Carnival at Ormond Beach in January 1907. He recorded a record-setting speed of 218 kph (136 mph) during his run. He was dubbed "the fastest man on Earth."
Motorcycle, Curtiss V-8
Stay up to date on the latest stories and events with our newsletter
National Air and Space Museum
6th St. and Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20560
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
10:00 am - 5:30 pm