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Fall the Thomas Brothers Company moved from Bath to Ithaca, New York, and as soon as they were reorganized a flying school was started, with Burnside as instructor. 

In March, 1915 he conducted the initial flight tests on a new Thomas Military Tractor Biplane of very advanced design. In May hydro instruction was started in Lake Cayuga, with Burnside still in charge of the school. On May 22nd he and Charles Fay made flights during a ball same and at the Harvard-Cornell Boat Races at Ithaca. That Spring the company sold some of their new Military Tractors to the British Government, and in July Burnside began conducting acceptance flight tests of these planes. The School was active that Summer and many Canadians were trained who later went into active flight service in World War 1. 

Burnside left the Thomas Brothers in October, 1915 and joined the Curtiss Company staff at Buffalo, New York as a test pilot. That Fall he also did some flying on Long Island for the Curtiss Company and while there took Rear Admiral Robert E. Perry for his first airplane flight. He also piloted the internationally renowned pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont of Brazil for rides. 

In January, 1916 Burnside was back with the Thomas Brothers at Ithaca. At that time they were beginning to flight-test the first Thomas engines in their Military Tractors, and Burnside conducted these tests. In January and February he flight-tested some of these before a Russian Military Commission here to purchase planes. In the Spring of 1916 Burnside entered the Curtiss Marine Trophy contest representing the Aero Club of Buffalo, New York with a Curtiss Flying Boat. That season the Thomas Brothers Company offed the services of Burnside to the New York National Guard which was organizing an Aviation detachment at Garden City, Long Island. The Guard purchased a Model T-2 Tomas Tractor with Curtiss OX engine, and Burnside did some flying for them at the Hempstead Aviation Field, Long Island. On May 29th he made a duration flight of three hours at an average speed of 85 M.P.H.,
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