At some point during these years, Curtiss gained an interest in airplanes. He built June Bug sometime in 1907-1908 and flew it on July 4th, 1908. This event, as noted above, was the first officially recorded airplane flight in America. He won the Gordon Bennet Trophy in 1909 for speed at a tournament in France. Then in 1910, Curtiss made the first long-distance flight (with one stop) in the country between two cities (Albany, NY to New York City). His next feat came in 1911 when he developed the first seaplane. The U.S. Navy took notice of Curtiss' skill and notoriety and hired him to build their first plane, the A-1, and train their pilots. He went on to build a number of other planes in the next few decades. He died in 1930.