Bunce Homebuilt Replica of a Curtiss Pusher
This Curtiss-type pusher was built and flown by 17 year old Howard S. Bunce of Berlin, CT. Obsessed with the desire to fly, Bunce would go wherever he could find a Curtiss pusher airplane, make sketches, then go home and make parts until he had assembled an airplane. He could not afford a Curtiss engine but used a 4-cylinder air-cooled engine constructed by Nels J. Nelson of New Britain, CT. Bunce made several attempts to fly his airplane, but according to his brother none were really successful. He could get it a few feet off the ground but did not have enough power to really fly. After crashing at the Berlin Fair Ground race track he used some remaining parts and built a second airplane. It was finally dismantled and stored in the barn on the family farm.
It was rediscovered in 1962. The surviving parts have been reconstructed into the airplane on display. The propulsion system and control surfaces are not original to the airplane. A 30 HP Kemp I-4 engine has been substituted for the missing home-built Nelson engine.
This is believed to be the oldest surviving Connecticut-built airplane.