Curtiss Aircraft 1914

Curtiss Model F

Curtiss Model F
Curtiss Model F-4 - 1913

The Curtiss Models F made up a family of early flying boats developed in the United States in the years leading up to World War I. Widely produced, Model Fs saw service with the United States Navy under the designations C-2 through C-5, later reclassified to AB-2 through AB-5. Several examples were exported to Russia, and the type was built under licence in Italy. In configuration, these were biplane flying boats powered by a single engine mounted amongst the interplane struts and driving a pusher propeller. The pilot and a single passenger sat side-by-side in an open cockpit. The wing cellule was derived from the Model E landplane and was of two-bay, unstaggered, equal-span construction with large ailerons mounted on the interplane struts and extending past the span of the wings themselves. The earliest examples of this design were built and sold by Curtiss in 1912 without any designation applied to them; the Model F name only coming into use the following year. Confusingly, Curtiss also used the designation Model E to refer to some early machines in this family, although these were quite distinct from Curtiss landplanes that bore this same designation and all but identical to the Model Fs.
[Read more]

Curtiss Model F 1917
  • Role: Utility flying boat
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
  • Designed by: Glenn Curtiss
  • First flight: 12 January 1912
  • Primary users:
  • United States Navy
  • Russian Navy
  • Italian Navy
  • Number built: over 150
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss OXX-3 V-8, 100 hp (75 kW)
  • Wingspan: 45 ft 1⅜ in (13.75 m)
  • Wing area: 387 ft² (36.0 m²)
  • Length: 27 ft 9¾ in (8.47 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 2⅞ in (3.42 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,860 lb (844 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,460 lb (1,116 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 69 mph (111 km/h)
  • Range: 851 miles (1370 km)
  • Endurance: 5 hours 30 min
  • Service ceiling: 4,500 ft (1,370 m)
  • Rate of climb: 230 ft/min (1.2 m/s) 2,300 ft (700 m): 10 min
  • Crew: Two


  1. Curtiss Model F. (2010, October 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:59, November 1, 2010, from
  2. Curtiss Model F. Retrieved from
  3. The Great War Society Aircraft of the A E F Curtiss F Boat Retrieved 12:59, November 1, 2010, from
  4. Virtual Aircraft Museum Curtiss Model F 1913 Retrieved 12:59, November 1, 2010, from
  5. Aerofiles Those Curtiss Boats Retrieved 12:59, November 1, 2010, from
  6. Bowers, Peter M. (1979). Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947. London: Putnam. ISBN 0 370 10029 8.
  7. Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. pp. 193, 278.
  8. The Curtiss Flyleaf. Hammondsport, New York: Glenn H. Curtiss Museum of Local History. 1987.
  9. World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 891 Sheet 43.

Curtiss Aircraft 1915

Curtiss JN-4 Jenny

Curtiss JN4d Jenny - 1915
Curtiss JN-4 Jenny

The Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" is a series of biplane aircraft built by the Curtiss Aeroplane Company of Hammondsport, New York, later the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. The Curtiss JN series (the common nickname was derived from "JN") was produced as a training aircraft for the U.S. Army although the "Jenny" became the "backbone of American post-war aviation."

Curtiss combined the best features of the model J and model N trainers, built for the Army and Navy, and began producing the JN or "Jenny" series of aircraft in 1915. Curtiss only built a limited number of the JN-1 and JN-2 biplanes. The design was commissioned by Glenn Curtiss from Englishman Benjamin D. Thomas, formerly of the Sopwith Aviation Company.

The JN-2, deficient in performance, particularly climbing, because of excessive weight, was an equal-span biplane with ailerons controlled by a shoulder yoke located in the aft cockpit. The improved JN-3 incorporated unequal spans with ailerons only on the upper wings, controlled by a wheel. In addition, a foot bar was added to control the rudder.
[Read more]

Curtiss JN-4D Jenny
  • Role: Trainer
  • National origin: United States of America
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss
  • Designed by: Benjamin D. Thomas
  • Introduced: 1915
  • Primary users:
    • U.S. Army Air Service
    • Royal Flying Corps
  • Number built: 6,813
  • Unit cost: $5,465
  • Variants:
    • Curtiss N-9
    • Curtiss JN-6H
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtis OX-5 V8 piston, 90 hp (67 kW)
  • Wingspan: 43 ft 7¾ in (13.3 m)
  • Wing area: 352 ft² (32.7 m²)
  • Length: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 10½ in (3.01 m)
  • Empty weight: 1390 lb (630 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1920 lb (871 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 75 mph (65 kn, 121 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 60 mph (52 kn, 97 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 6,500 ft (2,000 m)
  • Crew: 2


  1. Curtiss JN-4. (2011, January 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:41, January 16, 2011, from
  2. Curtiss JN-4 Retrieved from
  3. Auliard, Gilles. "Maiden of the Skies." Air Classics, Volume 45, No. 4, April 2009.
  4. Angelucci, Enzo. Great Aeroplanes of the World. London: Hamlyn, 1973. ISBN 0-60038-663-5.
  5. House, Kirk W. Hell-Rider to King of the Air. Warrendale, PA: SAE International, 2003. ISBN 0-7680-0802-6.
  6. United States Air Force Museum Guidebook. Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio: Air Force Museum Foundation, 1975.
  7. Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.

Curtiss Aircraft 1916

Curtis Model N

Curtiss N-9  - 1916
Curtiss N-9

The Curtiss N-9 was a seaplane variant of the Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" military trainer used during the First World War. As a seaplane, the N-9 was equipped with a single central pontoon mounted under the fuselage. A small float was fitted under each wingtip. With the additional weight of the pontoon, a number of structural and aerodynamic changes were required, the design of which made use of wind tunnel data developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, meaning the N-9 was the first US Naval aircraft to incorporate wind tunnel data directly into its design. The wingspan was stretched an additional 10 ft, the fuselage was lengthened, the tail surfaces were enlarged, and stabilizing fins were added to the top of the top wing. The N-9 was initially powered by a 100 hp (75 kW) Curtiss OXX-6 engine.

Curtiss was awarded an initial contract for 30 aircraft in August, 1916, and an additional 14 were ordered by the US Army, which maintained a small seaplane operation. It became quickly apparent that the aircraft was underpowered, so Curtiss replaces the engine with a 150 hp (112 kW) Hispano-Suiza, manufactured in the US under license by Wright-Martin's Simplex division (later Wright Aeronautical). The aircraft was redesignated N-9H.

A total of 560 N-9s were built during the war, most of which were "H" models. Only 100 were actually built by Curtiss. Most were built under license by the Burgess Company of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Fifty others were assembled after the war by the Navy at the Pensacola Naval Air Station from spare components and engines.
[Read more]

Curtiss Model N-9H
  • National Origin: United States of America
  • Role: Advanced hydroplane trainer
  • Manufacturer:
    • Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
    • Burgess Company
  • Number Built: Aprox. 560
  • Entered Service: late 1916
  • Retired: 1927
  • Operators:
    • United States:
    • United States Army
    • United States Navy
  • Powerplant:
    • N-9C: Curtiss OXX-6 engine 100 hp (75 kW)
    • N-9H: Wright A piston engine 150 hp (112 kW)
    • N-9H: Hispano-Suiza 150 hp (112 kW)
  • Wing Span:
  • Upper: 53 ft., 3 ¾ inches
  • Lower: 43 ft. ⅜ inches
  • Length: 37 ft. 7 ¼ inches
  • Height: 10 ft. 8 ½ inches
  • Net Weight: 2,040 lbs.
  • Gross Weight: 2,550 lbs.
  • Fuel: 179.5 lbs. (29 Gallons)
  • Oil: 37.5 lbs. (5 Gallons)
  • Maximum Speed: 78 mph
  • Stall Speed: 38 mph
  • Climb:
    • 10 minutes To 3285 ft.
    • 14.4 minutes To 5000 ft.
  • Service Ceiling: 7,000 ft.
  • Endurance: 1.7 hrs.


  1. Curtiss Model N. (2009, November 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:45, January 18, 2011, from
  2. Curtiss Model N-9 Retrieved from
  3. The Great War Society Aircraft Of The A E F Curtiss N9. Retrieved 01:45, January 18, 2011, from
  4. Bowers, Peter,Curtiss Aircraft 1904 to 1947
  5. Van Wyen, Adrian O.,Naval Aviation in World War I

Curtiss Aircraft 1917

Curtiss Model H

Curtiss Model H-12
Curtiss Model H-12

The Curtiss Model H was a family of classes of early long-range flying boats, the first two of which were developed directly on commission in the United States in response to the £10,000 prize challenge issued in 1913 by the London newspaper, the Daily Mail, for the first non-stop aerial crossing of the Atlantic. As the first aircraft having trans-Atlantic range and cargo-carrying capacity, it became the grandfather development leading to early international commercial air travel, and by extension, to the modern world of commercial aviation. The last widely produced class, the Model H-12, was retrospectively designated Model 6 by Curtiss' company in the 1930s, and various classes have variants with suffixed letters indicating differences.

Having transatlantic range and cargo carrying capacity by design, the first H-2 class (soon dubbed "The Americans" by the Royal Navy) was quickly drafted into wartime use as a patrol and rescue aircraft by the RNAS, the air arm of the British Royal Navy. The original two "contest" aircraft were in fact temporarily seized by the Royal Navy, which later paid for them and placed an initial follow-on order for an additional 12 — all 14 of which were militarized (e.g. by adding gun mounts) and designated the "H-4" (the two originals were thereafter the "H-2" Models to air historians). These changes were produced under contract from Curtiss' factory in the last order of 50 "H-4s", giving a class total of 64, before the evolution of a succession of larger, more adaptable, and more robust H-class models. This article covers the whole line of nearly 500 Curtiss Model H seaplane flying boat aircraft known to have been produced, since successive models - by whatever sub-model designation - were physically similar, handled similarly, essentially just being increased in size and fitted with larger and improved engines — the advances in internal combustion engine technology in the 1910s being as rapid and explosive as any technological advance has ever been.
[Read more]

Curtiss Model H-12A
  • Role: Experimental flying boat
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
  • First flight: June 1914
  • Introduction: 1917
  • Retired: 1918
  • Primary users:
    • United States Navy
    • Royal Naval Air Service
  • Number built: 478
  • Developed from: Curtiss Model E
  • Variants:
    • Felixstowe F.1
    • Felixstowe F.2
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Eagle I, 275 hp (205 kW) each
  • Wingspan: 92.71 ft in (28.26 m)
  • Wing area: 1,216 ft² (113.0 m²)
  • Length: 46.5 ft in (14.18 m)
  • Height: 16.5 ft in (5.03 m)
  • Empty weight: 7,293 lb (3,609 kg)
  • Gross weight: 10,650 lb (5,550 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 85 mph (137 km/h)
  • Endurance: 6 hours
  • Service ceiling: 10,800 ft (3,292 m)
  • Rate of climb: 336 ft/min (1.7 m/s)
  • Crew: Four
  • Armament:
  • Guns: 4 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns on flexible mounts
  • Bombs: 4 × 100 lb (45 kg) or 2 × 230 lb (105 kg) bombs below the wings


  1. Curtiss Model H. (2010, August 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:05, October 31, 2010, from
  2. The Aircraft: Curtiss H.12
  3. Curtiss H.12
  4. Curtiss H-4 America
  5. Reproduction Curtiss H-1 America Flies-September 2008
  6. Roseberry, C.R. "Glenn Curtiss: Pioneer of Flight". Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972. ISBN 0-81560-264-2.
  7. Shulman, Seth. "Unlocking the Sky: Glen Hammond Curtiss and the Race to Invent the Airplane". New York: Harper Collins, 2002. ISBN 0-06-019633-5.
  8. Swanborough, Gordon and Peter M. Bowers. "United States Navy Aircraft since 1911", Second edition. London: Putnam, 1976, pp. 106–107. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.
  9. Taylor, Michael J.H. "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation". London: Studio Editions, 1989, p. 281. ISBN 0-71060-710-5.
  10. Thetford, Owen. "British Naval Aircraft since 1912", Fourth edition. London: Putnam, 1978, pp. 80–83. ISBN 0-370-30021-1.
  11. "World Aircraft Information Files: File 891", Sheet 44–45. London: Bright Star Publishing, 2002.

Curtiss Model S

Curtiss Model S-3 - 1917
Curtiss Model S-3 Model 10

The Curtiss Model S (also known as Speed Scout or Model 10) was a single-seat fighter aircraft.

The Model S was Curtiss' first attempt at a fast and maneuverable single-seat fighter. The first variant, S-1, had disappointing performance. In March 1917, new wings were attached to the S-1 fuselage and the project was redesignated S-2. In 1917, the S-3 became the first triplane in service in the United States. In 1918 and 1919, Curtiss experimented with seaplane versions of the S-3, designated S-4 and S-5. The S-6 was intended to be an improved S-3, but performance was poor and of the 12 ordered by the USASC, only 1 was delivered.

Curtiss Model S-3
  • Role: fighter
  • National origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
  • Variants:
    • S-1 Speed Scout: Biplane, unarmed
    • S-2 Wireless Biplane: updated S-1 lacked wing wires. First flight in March 1917.
    • S-3 Model 10: Triplane derived from S-2. Four built.
    • S-4 Model 10A: Seaplane version of S-3 with 2 main floats
    • S-5 Model 10B: Seaplane version of S-3 with 1 main central float and two wingtip floats.
    • S-6 Model 10C: Triplane, improved S-3
  • Length: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 7 in (2.62 m)
  • Wing area: 142.6 ft² (13.25 m²)
  • Empty weight: 970 lb (440 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,320 lb (599 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss OXX-3, 100 hp (75 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 115 mph (185 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 16,500 ft (5,029 m)
  • Crew: 1


  1. "Curtiss Model S". (2010, March 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:14, January 16, 2011, from
  2. Curtiss Model S Retrieved from
  3. Angelucci, Enzo "The American Fighter from 1917 to the present", pp. 112-113. 1987 New York: Orion Books.
  4. Bowers, Peter M. "Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947", p.133. 1979 London: Putnam. ISBN 0 370 10029 8.

Curtiss Aircraft 1918

Curtiss 18-T Wasp

Curtiss 18-T Wasp - 1918
Curtiss 18-T Wasp

The Curtiss 18T, unofficially known as the Wasp and by the United States Navy as the Kirkham, was an early American triplane fighter aircraft designed by Curtiss Engineering for the US Navy.

The Curtiss 18T was intended to protect bombing squads along the French coast, and a primary requisite for this job was speed. Speed was not the triplane's only salient feature: an 18T-2 set a new altitude record in 1919 of 34,910 ft (10,640 m). The streamlined and very "clean" fuselage contribiuted to the aircraft's performance. The basic construction was based on cross-laminated strips of wood veneer formed on a mold and attached to the inner structure. The technique was a refinement of that used on the big Curtiss flying boats.

Flown by Roland Rholfs, the 18T achieved a world speed record of 163 mph (262 km/h) in August 1918 carrying a full military load of 1,076 lb (488 kg).

The Model 18T-2 was an improved version of its predecessor, boosting 50 additional horsepower. The wings of the new model were swept back. It was also 5 ft (150 cm) longer with a 9 ft (270 cm) longer two-bay wing, though its flight ceiling was 2,000 ft (610 m) lower.

After World War I, it was employed as a racing plane: an 18T-2 nearly won the Curtiss Marine Trophy Race in 1922 (limited to U.S. Navy pilots), but pilot Sandy Sanderson ran out of fuel just before the finish line.

Curtiss Engineering followed the success of the Model 18T with the launch of the Model 18B, unofficially known as the "Hornet", built to otherwise similar specifications.

Curtiss 18-T Wasp
  • Role: two seat fighter triplane
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Engineering Corporation
  • Designed by: Charles B Kirkham
  • First flight: 7 May 1918
  • Introduction: February 1919
  • Primary user: United States Navy
  • Unit cost: $55,400
  • Variants
  • Model 18T or 18T-1: Two-seat fighter triplane with single-bay wings, powered by a 400-hp (298-kW) Curtiss-Kirkham K-12 piston engine. Referred to by the US Navy as the "Kirkham". Originally designated 18T, the type was redesignated the 18T-1 when the prototype was modified to a new configuration designated 18T-2 (see below).
  • Model 18T-2: 18T with longer-span two-bay wings. Could be fitted with floatplane or landplane landing gear.
  • Model 18B: Biplane fighter version, known unofficially as the "Hornet".
  • Powerplant: 1 × water-cooled 12-cylinder vee engine, 350 hp (261 kW)
  • Propellers: four-blade prop, 1 per engine
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 10 in (9.70 m)
  • Wing area: 288.04 ft² (26.76 m²)
  • Length: 23 ft 4 in (7.11 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 11 in (3.02 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,069 lb (485 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 3,049 lb (1,383 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 163 mph (262 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: Approximately 34,908 ft (10,640 m)
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament:
    • Primary: 2 × forward-firing synchronized 0.30 in (7.62 mm) Marlin guns
    • Secondary: 2 × rear-cockpit 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns on a Scarff ring


  1. Curtiss 18-T Wasp. (2011, January 13). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:56, January 16, 2011, from
  2. Curtiss 18-T Retrieved from
  3. Angelucci, Enzo and Peter Bowers. "The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft from 1917 to the Present. New York: Orion Books, 1985, pp. 114-115. ISBN 0-517-56588-9.
  4. "The Curtiss Model 18-T Triplane." Flight, Volume XI, Issue 22, No. 544, 29 May 1919, pp. 698-700.
  5. "The Curtiss Model 18-B Biplane." Volume XI, Issue 28, No. 550, 10 July 1919, pp. 902-904.
  6. Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York: Salamander, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.

Curtiss CB

Curtiss CB - 1918
Curtiss CB

The CB (Curtiss Battleplane), unofficially known as the "Liberty Battler", serial number 34632, was an experimental two-seat fighter developed and flown early in 1918 as a result of difficulties being experienced with the Liberty-engined version of the Bristol F2B.

Powered by a 425hp 12-cylinder Liberty 12 water-cooled engine, the CB two-bay biplane was an early example of "Curtiss ply" construction - two layers of 5cm wide wood veneer being cross-laminated over a form to build up a monocoque fuselage shell. In an effort to maintain fuselage streamlining, the radiators were slung under the upper wing center section, where they were found to have a seriously detrimental effect on the airflow.
[Read more]

Curtiss CB
  • Role: experimental two-seat fighter
  • National Origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
  • First Flight: May 1918
  • Number Built: 1
  • Serial Number: 34632
  • User: United States Army
  • Status: Prototype
  • Powerplant: 1 × 12-cylinder Liberty 12, water-cooled engine 425 hp (317 kW)
  • Wingspan: 11.98 m 39 ft 4 in
  • Length: 8.25 m 27 ft 1 in
  • Empty weight: 1622 kg 3576 lb
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament: None


  1. Curtiss CB Retrieved from
  2. Curtiss CB - fighter 1918 Virtual Aircraft Museum Retrieved 03:50, January 20, 2011, from
  3. List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (pre-1925). (2011, January 20). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 07:28, January 21, 2011, from
  4. Green, William, and Swanborough, Gordon, "Fighter A To Z", Air International, Bromley, Kent, UK, January 1976, Volume 10, Number 1, pages 33-34.

Curtiss HA-2

Curtiss Model HA-2 - 1918
Curtiss HA-2

The Curtiss HA (sometimes Dunkirk Fighter) was an American biplane seaplane designed by Captain B.L. Smith of the United States Marine Corps, and built by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company.

The HA was a two-seat biplane with a central float and balancing floats on the wingtips. The fuselage was wood with a fabric covering. The plane was powered by a Liberty 12 engine in the nose. The prototype was ordered in December 1917, and its first flight was on 21 March 1918. During testing the aircraft proved very unstable, with an overly heavy tailplane. The aircraft was destroyed in a crash.
[Read more]

Curtiss HA-2 (BuNo A4111)
  • Role: fighter/mail plane
  • National Origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
  • Designed By: B.L. Smith
  • First Flight: 21 March 1918
  • Number Built: 6 (3 prototypes, 3 landplane mail planes)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Liberty 12, 360 hp ( kW)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft 0 in (12.80 m)
  • Wing Area: 490 ft² (45.52 m²)
  • Length: 30 ft 9 in (9.37 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 5 in (3.47 m)
  • Empty Weight: 2,946 lb (1,336 kg)
  • Gross Weight: 3,907 lb (1,772 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 118 mph (190 km/h)
  • Rate of Climb: 790 ft/min (4 m/s)
  • Crew: 2
  • Armament: 4 × 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns


  1. Curtiss HA. (2010, August 20). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:54, January 16, 2011, from
  2. Curtiss HA. Retrieved from
  3. Angelucci, Enzo (1987). The American Fighter from 1917 to the present pp 116-117. New York: Orion Books.