SKF Aeroengine, which manufacturers ball bearings for jet engines and helicopters, has sold its manufacturing plant in Chautauqua, but will remain in place under a long term lease with the new owner (see article). The Falconer plant, which employs about 600 people, is one of 140 SKF manufacturing sites around the world. SKF Aeroengine is part of WNY’s proud aerospace tradition that dates back to the dawn of flight. The SKF Ball Bearing Co. was formed as a subsidiary in New York in 1908, the same year that Hammondsport native Glenn Curtiss, a contemporary of the Wright Brothers, won the Scientific American Trophy for a flight of 5,080 feet in a plane he designed nicknamed the June Bug. By 1916 Curtiss operated the largest aircraft factory in the world at 2050 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo where the famous Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” was made. Curtiss later merged with Wright Aeronautical to form the Curtiss-Wright Company which was headquartered in Buffalo and became the second largest company in America with 180,000 employees by 1945. Today WNY companies like SKF, Moog, Astronics, Northrup Grumman, AVOX, Calspan and others continue our strong aerospace tradition.