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Curtiss XP-46

Curtiss XP-46


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Curtiss XP-46

XP-46 var en af ​​en række forsøg på at forbedre ydeevnen på P-40 Warhawk, hvoraf ingen kom i produktion. Arbejdet begyndte på XP-46 i september 1939. Den brugte en mere kraftfuld Allison V-1710-39-motor, der kunne levere 1.150 hk ved start. Designet blev ryddet op for at reducere træk, og der blev forudsagt en tophastighed på over 400 mph.

XP-46A, uden kanoner, fløj først 15. februar 1941. Ydeevnen var ikke nær så god som forventet-topfarten var kun 355 mph ved 12.000 fod. Dette var kun en meget lille forbedring i forhold til P-40D dengang i produktionen, bestemt ikke en stor nok forbedring til at retfærdiggøre forstyrrelse af produktionen, og derfor blev arbejdet med XP-46 opgivet.


Curtiss XP-62

Curtiss Aeroplanes succes med at levere en US Army fighter var i den klassiske P-40 "Warhawk" linje. Dette var imidlertid et førkrigsdesign igennem og igennem, og mange forsøg fra selskabet på at sikre yderligere hærkontrakter i jagerfeltet mislykkedes i sidste ende. Der var også forsøg på at forbedre selve det originale P-40-produkt, og disse faldt også til intet, da konkurrenter som Lockheed, Republikken og Nordamerika slog sig ind for at finde de potentielt lukrative hæraftaler på bordet.

XP-62 blev udtænkt af Curtiss til at bygge en meget hurtig jagerplatform omkring den dengang største radiale stempelmotor til rådighed-Wright R-3350 "Cyclone 18". Arbejdet begyndte, selv før USA skulle forpligte sig til Verdenskrig, der kom i december 1941. I løbet af januar samme år henvendte Curtiss sig til amerikanske hærmyndigheder med sine planer og overbeviste dem om jagerflyets potentiale og formåede at sikre finansiering til bestræbe sig på inden udgangen af ​​måneden.

Cyklonmotoren var allerede i gang, begyndt i 1936, men den havde vist sig helt temperamentsfuld til det punkt, at forsinkelser var almindelige. Ud over dens store størrelse blev motoren vurderet til over 2.000 hestekræfter og fandt sin bedste anvendelse som drivanlæg for den berømte Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" tunge bombefly, der stadig skulle komme (denne bombefly brugte fire sådanne motorer). Måske mere interessant var brugen af ​​det til at drive et mere kompakt kampfly - hvilket gav det enestående hastigheds- og præstationsfaktorer, der dengang var uovertruffen. I løbet af denne periode var Wright-produktet et af de mest kraftfulde af slagsen-Wright R-3350-17-modellen blev valgt til at drive XP-62-designet og levere op til 2.300 hestekræfter. En turbo-kompressor skulle også indgå i motorens installation. På grund af kræfterne i spil ville der være monteret en stor diameter (over 13 fod) kontra-roterende propel på forsiden af ​​flyet.

Ud over dets massive radiale skulle flyet have moderne metalskindskonstruktion, et cockpit under tryk til højflyvning og en derefter imponerende bevæbningstilpasning på 12 x 0,50 kaliber Browning tunge maskingeværer. Alternativt kan maskingeværerne erstattes af et batteri på fire til otte 20 mm kanoner for et endnu mere kraftfuldt frontalt "slag".

Slutproduktet blev et kraftigt monoplanfly med et dybt skrog med sin turbo-kompressorindtagskanal monteret under næsen, hvor kanalarbejde blev brugt til at lede luft til enheden midt i skibe. En hævet skrogryg bag ved cockpittet begrænsede udsigten bagud, men tilføjede indvendig volumen til brændstof, flyelektronik og andre vitale komponenter. Cockpittet var overdækket i et drivhus-stil baldakin og sad lige agter for motorinstallationen. Haleenheden bestod af en afrundet lodret halefinne, der stammer fra rygsøjlen samt midtmonterede vandrette fly. Undervognen var af det typiske haletrækkerarrangement og helt indtrækkelig. I stedet for det påtænkte maskingeværarrangement havde oprustningen nu specifikt centreret sig om all -kanon bevæbning - så mange som otte.

Curtiss udviklede flyet under produktnavnet "Model 91" og indsendte sit strømlinede forslag i april 1940. Dette blev godkendt den følgende måned og omfattede prototypen XP-62 og en XP-62A i produktionskvalitet-den første, der blev læst op af slutningen af ​​1942. Da Curtiss -ingeniører gik i gang, men det blev hurtigt opdaget, at den besværlige motor ikke ville være klar til tiden.

På trods af dette var en mock-up tilgængelig til gennemgang i december 1941. På dette tidspunkt var produktets vægt ballonballeret, og det blev beordret, at hun blev lettere (dette førte til en 4 x 20 mm kanonbevæbning som den aftalte standard). Hæren gav Curtiss en officiel produktionskontrakt i maj 1942 for at producere den færdige P-62A. Denne kontrakt blev dog ophævet så snart som i juli, da Boeing B-29-projektet krævede det valgte Wright-motorlager. Hærens myndigheder var også bekymrede over at forstyrre Curtiss-forpligtelsen til at producere sine P-40 og Republikken P-47 "Thunderbolt" -krigere.

XP-62-prototypen fortsatte i reduceret tilstand, da den ikke længere fik den hastende følelse, den engang havde. Første flyvning blev endelig registreret den 21. juli 1943, men denne model blev stadig fjernet fra sine vitale komponenter og ikke repræsentativ for noget i nærheden af ​​et produktionskampfly. Inden for et par korte måneder blev XP-62-programmet annulleret fuldt ud (dette fandt sted den 21. september 1943), da bedre alternativer var tilgængelige for hæren på vej ind i de sidste år af krigen. Curtiss forsøgte at overbevise hæren om fordelene ved at konvertere det nye fly til en lavtliggende terrænangrebsplatform, men der var allerede masser af konkurrence på dette område fra eksisterende effektive typer såvel som modeller under udvikling.

I sidste ende markerede XP-62 et af de sidste Curtiss-produkter, der dukkede op i krigsårene. Dens P-40-design var det eneste virkelig klassiske jagerbidrag og blev aldrig forbedret før konfliktens afslutning. Kun en eneste prototype af XP-62 blev realiseret, og dens flyvetid var kun kortvarig. Hvis den var færdig, ville XP-62 have fremvist en maksimal hastighed på op til 450 miles i timen (den originale specifikation var tættere på 470 mph), en rækkevidde på 1.500 miles og et serviceloft på 35.700 fod (heraf sit cockpit-tryksystem) - hvilket også viste sig at være problematisk). Dimensionerne omfattede en længde på 39,5 fod, et vingefang på 54 fod og en højde på 16,25 fod.


Curtiss C-46: Going Commando

Curtiss C-46 Commando blev luftfartens sværvægtsmester under Anden Verdenskrig.

© John M. Dibbs/The Plane Picture Company

Curtiss C-46 fyldte en niche under anden verdenskrig for en tung vognmand i stor højde, der var i stand til at operere fra ru landingsbaner i fjerntliggende steder

De kaldte det Curtiss Calamity, Ol ’Dumbo, den flyvende hval og for nylig Miss Piggy. C-46 Commando var det største dobbeltmotorede fly i verden, da det første gang fløj-længere, højere og med et bredere vingefang end en B-17 eller B-24. At flyve en C-46 var at kæmpe med 20 til 26 tons aluminium og stål, afhængigt af model og mods. Der var piloter, der sagde, at hvis man kunne flyve en C-46, kunne man flyve hvad som helst. Andre hævdede, at hvis du kunne taxa det, kunne du flyve det. Atter andre kaldte det en elendig groundlooping sonofabitch og ville ikke have noget at gøre med det.

Curtiss designede oprindeligt C-46 til at være et luksusflyselskab under tryk med tilstrækkelig rækkevidde til at flyve den gyldne rute mellem New York og Chicago nonstop og over det meste af vejret. Det ville være en 24- til 36-sæders "sub-stratosfærisk transport", forudsagde virksomhedens marketingfolk optimistisk, med mulighed for at blive konfigureret med krydsende sovepladser. Men det ville aldrig blive presset, aldrig være luksuriøst, aldrig være et ægte passagerfly. I bedste fald blev hundredvis af krigsoverskudskommandoer opereret i slutningen af ​​1940'erne og begyndelsen af ​​50'erne af start-up ikke-planlagte fragt- og passagerskibe. Efter at have kostet regeringen $ 313.500 hver, blev C-46'er solgt som overskud for så lidt som $ 5.000.

Da designet af Curtiss CW-20 passagerfly begyndte i 1936, var krig en fjern trussel mod de ikke-interventionistiske USA, og Douglas DC-3 havde allerede demonstreret muligheden for alvorlige kommercielle flyrejser. Doug'en havde forældet Boeing 247 og Curtiss 'gawky 12-sæders, indtrækkeligt gear Condor II-biplan. Curtiss fandt sig til at se på fremtidig konkurrence fra Boeings firemotorede 307 Stratoliner og Douglas DC-4.

I 1920'erne og 30'erne var Curtiss et enkeltmotorkrydsfirma med en lang række biplanjagter for hæren og flåden, og derefter P-36 og P-40 Hawk-krigere til Army Air Corps og eksport. CW-20 Condor III var langt det største og mest komplekse design, virksomheden nogensinde havde foretaget.

Ansvarlig var en produktiv ingeniør, George A. Page Jr., der i sidste ende instruerede 60 Curtiss -designs. Page var en pionerflyver efter at have soleret i 1913, og han arbejdede endda kort som flyselskabspilot. Kommandoen var højdepunktet i hans karriere. Page fik sit CW-20-design omfattende testet i Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratories vindtunnel ved 10 fods diameter ved Caltech. Tunneltest opmuntrede ham til at konstruere usædvanlige naceller til det, der blev til C-46, med dæksel kun på den nederste halvdel af bælgene. Dette undgik at fodre enhver turbulent kølende luftstrøm over vingernes øvre løfteflader.

Vindtunnelen bekræftede også en af ​​CW-20/C-46’s mest karakteristiske træk-dens strømlinede, uforstærkede cockpitruder, der gav Commando sin perfekte-cigarform. Et lille antal C-46’ere blev bygget med konventionelle forruder, de blev kendt som Commandos med knækket næse.

Den anden særprægede Commando-funktion, som Page bekræftede hos Caltech, var flyets dobbeltboble, tal-otte tværsnit. CW-20 var beregnet til at blive sat under tryk, for at konkurrere med Boeing 307, verdens første passagerfly under tryk. Curtiss ønskede også, at CW-20 skulle have et stort, separat bagagerum under hovedkabinen, en nyskabelse for den æra. At omfatte både en rummelig kabine og et supplerende lastområde inden for et enkelt cirkulært tværsnit - ideelt til tryk - ville have skabt et skrog med et stort frontareal og dermed øget formtræk. Så Page skitserede en delcirkel, der var fast knyttet til et bredt gulv for at indeholde passagerkabinen, og et separat mindre ovoid område, der var fastgjort til gulvet nedenunder, til bagagerummet uden tryk.

Resultatet var især mindre træk, men det var en meningsløs øvelse. Curtiss havde ikke tid til at udvikle et tryksystem midt i krigstidens krav, og efter krigen manglede flyselskabets interesse for en civil version af flyet selskabet uden grund til at udføre arbejdet. Ingen CW-20 eller C-46 blev nogensinde sat under tryk.

CW-20-prototypen havde en lang aluminiumskåbe for at skjule folden mellem kabine og bagagerum, men det ekstra metal vejede 275 pund, tilføjede fremstillingskompleksitet og gjorde intet aerodynamisk. Den blev hurtigt seksogfirs og efterlod C-46s signaturskrogsform nøgen. Page fik et designpatent på CW-20's konfiguration, ligesom Coca-Cola patenterede formen på sin hveps-talte flaske. Det er uklart, hvordan Boeing omgåede patentet for at oprette dobbeltboble Model 377 Stratocruiser bare fem år senere, selvom Boeing og Douglas designede dobbeltboblen 707 og DC-8, efter at Curtiss-patentet var udløbet.


C-46'erne var underpowered, indtil Curtiss erstattede deres 1.700-hk Wright Twin Cyclones med 2.000 hk Pratt & amp; Whitney Double Wasps. (Rigsarkivet)

I marts 1940 tog Boeing testpilot Eddie Allen den store Curtiss op til sin første flyvning. Allen var langt den mest erfarne multiengine testpilot i landet og havde foretaget snesevis af første flyvninger i alt fra Douglas DC-2 til Boeing 314 flyvende båd. I clubby -verdenen for vestkystens flyrammere var han fri til lejlighedsvis at være freelance.

På det tidspunkt truede krigsskyer op, og Curtiss parkerede CW-20 bag på hovedbuffelen i New York, mens det øgede produktionen af ​​P-40'er til briterne. Legenden siger, at mens han turnerede i flyproduktionsfaciliteter i september 1940, besøgte generalmajor Henry "Hap" Arnold Curtiss, så CW-20 og angiveligt erklærede: "Jeg vil have det fly." Siden da havde Air Corps allerede købt prototypen og testede den-under betegnelsen C-55-mere sandsynligt, da Arnold blev opmærksom på dets last- og troppebærende potentiale.

Desværre var C-55 en rå, ufærdig prototype. Den eneste væsentlige ændring, Curtiss havde foretaget efter den første flyvetest, var at erstatte den originale tvillinghale med kommandoens store lodrette finne og roret Eddie Allen havde klaget over lavhastighedsstabilitet og enkeltmotorhåndtering. Air Corps sendte C-55 tilbage til Buffalo med en lang række nødvendige rettelser og mods, men Hap Arnolds krav om designet resulterede i en ordre på 200 af det, der ville blive C-46.

De første 25 C-46’ere, der blev leveret, var simpelthen CW-20’ere med et blankt interiør. Den 26. indeholdt en væsentlig ændring: Borte var Curtiss ’1.700 hk Wright R-2600 Twin Cyclone-motorer, erstattet af den fineste, mest pålidelige store radial, der nogensinde er bygget-Pratt & amp Whitneys 2.000 hk R-2800 dobbelt hveps. Med sin to-trins kompressor, gav R-2800 denne første sande Commando-højdeevne, der passer til det, der var beregnet til at være et fly under tryk.

Højdepræstationer var nøglen til C-46's store bidrag til Anden Verdenskrig: Det var det eneste tungt liftfragtsfly i stor højde, der var tilgængeligt for at krydse Himalaya på den berømte Kina-Burma-Indien Teater "Hump" -rute, luftløft leverancer til Chiang Kai-Sheks hær, efter at japanerne lukkede Burmavejen. C-47'ere arbejdede jer med at krydse, hvad Hump-piloter kaldte Rockpile, og til sidst ville firemotorede C-54 blive den foretrukne luftløfter, da japanske tilbagetog åbnede en Hump-rute i lavere højde. C-46'erne gjorde imidlertid det største problem med Hump-topping-arbejdet i løbet af de forsyningsåres bedste år.

Men C-46 var ingen foretrukne. 31 af de 230 kommandoer, der blev brugt på pukkelruterne-mere end 13 procent af flåden-eksploderede under flyvning. Man troede længe, ​​at 55-gallons tromler med avgas-last var årsagen til det, og uanset hvor kølig den lastede østgående flyvning til Kina var, ville C-46-besætninger ikke røre cockpitvarmeren, før de vendte tomt tilbage til Indien, fejede kabinen ren for gasrøg. Det blev endelig opdaget, at brændstof fra bittesmå lækager i vingetanke og brændstofledninger samlede i C-46s uventilerede vingrødder, hvor en vildfarende gnist til sidst ville sætte det i gang. Efter krigen blev alle C-46'er modificeret med korrekte ventilationsåbninger, gnistfrie brændstofforstærkende pumper og afskærmede ledninger i vingearealet.


En C-46 tackler sin mest berømte udfordring, & quotHump & quot -ruten gennem Himalaya mellem Indien og Kina. (Rigsarkivet)

Kommandoer fik også et ry for at have brændstofledningens damplåsning i højden, da et mandskab forsøgte at skifte tanke. Den eneste løsning var at stige ned og prøve en genstart, hvilket næppe var en mulighed over Himalaya. Efterkrigstidens civile C-46'er havde alle nedsænkelige elektriske brændstofpumper installeret i deres tanke for med magt at skubbe brændstof gennem en dampboble.

Utallige offentliggjorte kilder angiver karburatorglasur som en C-46 bugaboo under Hump-operationer, men dette er en forkert betegnelse. For en pilot betyder "karburatorglasur" intern forhindring af en karburator af fugtbelastet luft, der pludselig bliver superkølet af strømning gennem carbventurien, hvilket gør den fugtige luft til is. Hvad Commandos faktisk stødte på - og det gjorde de ofte over Himalaya - var nedslagsglasur eller fysisk obstruktion af den eksterne karburatorluftske af sne, slud og underkølet regn. Stik en stempelmotors induktionsluftkilde af, og den er ude af drift. Den eneste kur er et hurtigt valg af "alternativ luft" fra et sekundært luftindtag inde i den varme motorcelle, før den store Pratt dør. Genstart af en varm, men død R-2800 på 20.000 fod kan være en udfordring.

C-46s fire-bladede Curtiss elektriske rekvisitter var også en fare. De elektriske kontakter tærede i fugtigt Indien, og rekvisitterne ville pludselig blive for hurtige. "Det var SOP under start for copiloten at have fingrene på vippekontakterne på overstyringssystemet, hvis rekvisitterne overskred," skrev den tidligere kommandopilot Don Downie i sin fremragende bog Flyvende pukkel. C-46'erne fik til sidst tre-bladede Hamilton-Standard-propeller, og en af ​​hovedårsagerne til, at der stadig er så få kommandoer, der flyver, er, at de enorme rekvisitter i dag er så sjældne, at de i det væsentlige er uerstattelige.

Flyet var også et vedligeholdelsessvin, hovedsageligt på grund af dets utætte hydrauliske system. På pukkleture ville kyndige besætningschefer føre en 55-gallon tromle med hydraulikvæske med for at sikre, at de ville have nok til at fylde systemet op under Kinas vending. Blandt sine mange andre øgenavne blev kommandoen således døbt Leaky Tiki. Fordi Curtiss antog, at et så stort fly ville kræve drevne kontroller, havde det hydrauliske systemer, der kørte ailerons, elevator og ror, samt landingsudstyr og klapper. Kontrol-boost-systemerne blev til sidst fjernet, og C-46 viste sig at flyve fint uden dem. Selvom mindst en C-46 Hump-pilot sagde, at det at blive tildelt en C-47-tur "var som at køre en sportsvogn"-rosende ord, der måske aldrig før eller siden var blevet anvendt på Gooney Bird.

En kommando fløj typisk pukkel med et besætning på tre - to piloter og en radiooperatør. På trods af adskillige kilder, der hævder, at C-46'ere havde flyingeniører, er der ingen sådan position i cockpittet. Ofte vil et mandskab også omfatte en besætningschef, der fungerer som kombineret lastmester og mekaniker.

I den anden ende af besætningsspektret blev C-46'er lejlighedsvis solo over Rockpile af især erfarne piloter. Alle flyets betjeningselementer og systemer var tilgængelige fra venstre sæde, i modsætning til C-47, som blev soloeret fra copilotstolen for let adgang til dækselklapperne. C-46 havde også en tankevækkende funktion, der i høj grad understøttede lastning: Kabinegulvet lige inden for den store lastdør var plant, når flyet stod parkeret. En gaffeltruck-eller, som det nogle gange var tilfældet i Indien, en elefant med en benzintønde pakket ind i bagagerummet-blev præsenteret for et fladt gulv frem for opadgående hældning af en C-47. Kommandoen havde også et særligt langt baghjulsben for at dæmpe hældningen på det op ad bakke, når det parkerede gulv.

Historikeren Barbara Tuchman bebrejder Madame Chiang Kai-Shek for C-46's fejl. "Dragon Lady så uophørligt plaget Roosevelt efter flere fly, at han sendte C-46'er, før de var klar," skrev Tuchman. En C-46-pilot citerede i Flyvende pukkel huskede "at transportere en mængde Kotex til Madame Chiang og en god vin fra Californien til sin mand." Dette på et tidspunkt, hvor tre amerikanske besætningsmedlemmer døde for hver tusinde tons last, der blev transporteret ind i Kina, på missioner, der var væsentligt farligere end bombefly over Europa.

Selvom C-46'erne hovedsageligt opererede i CBI-teatret under anden verdenskrig, transporterede de også last over det sydlige Atlanterhav, mellem Brasilien og Nordafrika og videre til Calcutta til iscenesættelse over pukklen. Marine Corps fløj også Navy-versionen af ​​C-46-Curtiss R5C-1-til støtte for dens amfibiske ø-hopping-kampagne i det sydlige Stillehav.

Kun et par C-46'ere tjente i Europa, især under Operation Varsity, den allieredes luftdropskomponent skubbede over Rhinen til Tyskland i slutningen af ​​marts 1945. Under angrebet blev 19 af de 72 involverede kommandoer skudt ned. C-47’er klarede sig langt bedre, da de var udstyret med selvforseglende brændstoftanke. C-46'erne havde ikke kun standardmetaltanke, de led stadig af problemer med at samle vingebrændstof. Tysk flak tændte dem i en uoverskuelig hastighed, og da mange nedskudte kommandoer tog fuld last med faldskærmstropper, besluttede den amerikanske kommandant generalmajor Matthew Ridgway, at C-46'er aldrig mere skulle føre en 82. luftbåren tropper op.


Kommandos lager i handel var evnen til at transportere store mængder forsyninger til fjerntliggende uforberedte flyvepladser som denne & quotsomewhere in China. & Quot (National Archives)

2. verdenskrig var langt fra den sidste af C-46’s krige. En række kommandoer blev en del af Chiangs republik Kinas luftvåben, der kæmpede mod Maos røde kinesere, og flere tjente med det franske luftvåben i Indokina og droppede i sidste ende forsyninger under den krigsafslutende belejring af Dien Bien Phu. Det israelske luftvåben fløj kommandoer under den arabisk-israelske krig i 1948 og havde licensbyggede Messerschmitt Avia S-199-krigere fra Tjekkoslovakiet til Israel via Sydamerika og Nordafrika. C-46'er var aktive i det amerikanske luftvåben under Koreakrigen og i Vietnam, hvor en C-46, der transporterede 152 vietnamesere fra Saigon til Bangkok, var det sidste fly med fastvinget fly, der forlod Sydvietnam, før landet blev overrendt. Kommandoen blev endelig pensioneret fra USAF i 1968, selvom det er muligt, at reserveenheder fortsatte med at bruge et par C-46'er indtil så sent som i 1972.

Central Intelligence Agency var en mangeårig C-46-bruger, både i sine falske frontflyselskaber-Air America og forgængeren, den kinesiske civile lufttransport (CAT)-såvel som i en række hemmelige operationer. Den mest berygtede af disse var forsøget på invasion af svinebugten i Cuba i april 1961. Dem, der husker den katastrofale CIA-operation, husker et broget besætning af warbirds-T-33s, Sea Furys, B-26 Invaders-men få husker det fem C-46'er var også en vigtig del af invasionen mod Castro.

Under WWII Hump-operationer noterede en C-46 sin første luftkampsejr, da kaptajn Wally Gayda stak en Browning Automatic Rifle ud af sit cockpitvindue og tømte hele magasinet ved en angribende Nakajima Ki.43 Oscar. Gayda ramte den intetanende pilot, og Oscar gik ned. Under operationen af ​​svinebugten scorede en C-46 kommandoens andet "drab". Efter at have tabt en mængde dømte cubanske eksil faldskærmstropper var transporten på vej tilbage til CIAs hemmelige Guatemala -base, da den blev angrebet af en af ​​Castros Hawker Sea Furies. Noget gik galt, sandsynligvis en overentusiastisk for lav, for langsom stall/spin, og Hawker vendte sig ind i Caribien og dræbte piloten.

Curtiss 'C-46-udvikling sluttede i 1946, da Eastern Air Lines annullerede sin ordre på CW-20E'er, en foreslået Wright R-3350-drevet personbefordrende variant af Commando. Eastern indså, at der var hundredvis af billige C-47'er, der kom på overskudsmarkedet, og Gooneys kunne flyve de korte/mellemdistanceruter mere effektivt end de brændstofsultne C-46. Dette gav ikke desto mindre Curtiss masser af tid til at offentliggøre efterkrigstidens magasinannoncer, der udråbte det foreslåede nye fly med strålende stewardesser, der sagde: "Derfor er jeg til flyselskaber, der flyver Commando!" Vi kan kun antage, at de unge damer beholdt deres underbukser.

C-46-opgraderinger blev specialet hos flere virksomheder, der transplanterede mere kraftfulde R-2800-versioner og foretog forskellige opgraderinger i bruttovægt. Maksimal vægt på nogle C-46'ere, oprindeligt 40.000 pund flyvemaskiner, steg så højt som 52.500 pund.

Lastoperatører elskede Curtiss Calamitys enorme kabinemængde og kraftige løfteevne, og C-46 var i høj grad ansvarlig for opstart af blandt andet Slick Airways. Earl Slick købte 17 C-46'ere for 14.500 dollar stykket-omkring 175.000 dollars i 2016 dollars-og begyndte at bruge dem til at transportere lange længder af olieborerør til Texas wildcatters. Slick var snart det største luftfragtfirma i landet.

Syd- og mellemamerikanske flyselskaber var også begejstrede for kommandoen i lande, hvor luftfartsselskaber var de eneste rigtige veje til det indre, hvor der var masser af bjerge, og hvor mange flyvepladser var høje, korte og primitive. Den kombination gav mig min eneste mulighed for at flyve en C-46. På en rejsebladsopgave i Costa Rica i 1968 befandt jeg mig ombord på en Lacsa (i dag kaldet Avianca Costa Rica) C-46. Jeg var en cocky ny privat pilot og sendte en note til cockpittet, hvor jeg meddelte så meget. Kaptajnen inviterede mig ikke kun foran, men gled ud af sit sæde og inviterede mig til at flyve et stykke tid. Jeg husker lidt af oplevelsen, bortset fra at det halvcirkelformede kontrolhjul var på størrelse med et toiletsæde.

Forskellig verden, forskellige tider.

For yderligere læsning anbefaler den medvirkende redaktør Stephan Wilkinson: Flyvende pukkel, af Jeff Ethell og Don Downie C-46 Commando in Action, af Terry Love Pukkelpilot, af Nedda R. Thomas og Over pukkel: Historien om U.S. Air Force Airlift Operations, af generalløjtnant William H. Tunner.

Denne funktion dukkede oprindeligt op i maj 2016 -udgaven af Luftfartshistorie. For at abonnere, klik her!


FlyetafCurtiss

På opfordring fra Aeronautical Society of New York til at repræsentere det i Gordon Bennett Cup Race 1909.

Det første Curtiss-bygget fly, der blev udpeget som sådan, var modellen med et sæde bestilt af Aeronautical Society of New York den 2. marts,.

I 1909 besluttede Glenn Curtiss at prøve den $ 10.000 præmie, som New York World -avisen udsendte for det første.

Den første vellykkede flyvning af det, der oprindeligt blev kaldt en hydroaeroplane eller simpelthen hydro, men er nu kendt som en vandflyver,.

Model D var typisk for de relativt forældede landfly -typer, der dengang blev bygget i USA,.

Den anden Curtiss hydro var en bemærkelsesværdig undtagelse fra standard pusher design. Den ikke navngivne maskine, som Curtiss brugte til sin flyvning.

Den første Curtiss flyvebåd, der blev prøvet i San Diego den 10. januar 1912, var mere en hydro end en sand båd. A.

Den endelige model F fra 1913 blev brugt af den amerikanske hær såvel som den amerikanske flåde og solgt til.

Curtiss JN-4 biplan med to sæder fik snart tilnavnet 'Jenny', som blev brugt meget i mellemkrigsårene. Det var .

I begyndelsen af ​​1915 dukkede prototypen Curtiss Model R op, som i 1935 fik den retrospektive betegnelse.

S-2 var i det væsentlige model S-1 udstyret med nye vinger og et stiverarrangement, der eliminerede behovet.

Fire eksempler på Model L-2 triplane blev bygget, tre til den amerikanske flåde og et til den amerikanske hær.

Også kaldet Baby Scout var den originale Model S-1 det mindste fly, som Curtiss kunne bygge omkring 90 hk OX-motoren. Konstruktion .

På tidspunktet for dets konstruktion i 1915-16 var Curtiss Model T flyvende båd den største vandflyver i verden. .

I løbet af 1917 samarbejdede US Navy Bureau of Construction and Repair med Glenn Curtiss i et forsøg på at producere en.

I det væsentlige et triplan-derivat af S-2 Wireless (hvilket betyder mangel på vingerafstivningstråde) ubevæbnet biplan "spejder", S-3 eller "Triplane.

En raffineret version af S-3 med revideret spankulering, der bærer midtersektionen af ​​den øvre vinge og rodfæstelserne.

Curtiss H.16, hvis prototype dukkede op i slutningen af ​​1917, var den største og mest effektive amerikaner.

Dette var en triplane svarende til S-3 beregnet som en vandflyver spejder for den amerikanske flåde. Dette var .

I begyndelsen af ​​1917, inden krigsforbuddet mod privatflyvning i USA, gav den berømte aviatrix Katherine Stinson Curtiss til opgave.

I løbet af 1917 udstedte den amerikanske flåde Curtiss-virksomheden en kontrakt på fem enkelt-sædet kæmpende spejderflydende vandfly, der drives af en.

CB (Curtiss Battleplane), uofficielt kendt som "Liberty Battler", var en eksperimentel to-sæders jagerfly udviklet og fløjet tidligt i 1918 som.

Designet af Capt B L Smith fra US Marine Corps som en to-sæders patruljeflyvefly til brug i.

Den tredje HA float fighter prototype udgjorde et betydeligt redesign som HA-2. Drives af en 12-cylindret Liberty 12 vandkølet motor,.

Curtiss 18-T toseat jagerflyet blev designet af Charles B Kirkham og blev bestilt af den amerikanske flåde den 30. marts 1918, da.

Den amerikanske hærs interesse for 18-T fik Curtiss til at tilbyde det samme grundlæggende design i to-bay biplan konfiguration og en ordre.

Den første single-seat fighter af indfødt amerikansk design for at opnå produktionsstatus, Model D blev udtænkt omkring 300 hk Hispano-Suiza H.

Designet af US Army Engineering Division som en specialiseret natkæmper med et sæde, blev to prototyper af PN-1 bygget af Curtiss,.

Med den sædvanlige rivalisering mellem den amerikanske hær og den amerikanske flåde besluttede den amerikanske hær, at den skulle have racerfly, Curtiss bygger til dem.

Stamfader til den berømte Hawk-serie af krigere, PW-8 ("PW" -prefikset, der angiver "Pursuit Water-cooled") var en enkelt-sædet to-bay jagerfly.

Den første Curtiss-fighter bygget under US Navy-betegnelsessystemet, der kombinerer type, designsekvens og producent, F4C-1 (F2C og.

I marts 1925 beordrede den amerikanske flåde ni P-1'er med mulighed for float-drift som F6C'er (F5C-betegnelsen var ikke.

Den 7. marts 1925 fik Curtiss kontrakt med 15 produktionseksempler af XPW-8B som P-1, dette er.

Den første Curtiss-biplan, der bar navnet Falcon, var den Liberty-drevne Curtiss L-113 (Model 37), der dukkede op i 1924..

Den første radialmotorede Hawk skyldtes parring af en P-1A flyramme med en 390 hk Curtiss R-1454 motor som XP-3.

Installation af den nye 600hk Curtiss V-1570-1 Conqueror-motor i en P-2 flyramme til deltagelse i luftløbene i september 1927 kl.

Den første Curtiss-jager designet fra starten til brug om bord i modsætning til at være en tilpasning af en landbaseret jagerfly, the.

Under udvikling på samme tid som Keystone XB-1 var Curtiss XB-2 ret ens, men viste sig at være det overlegne fly. .

For at opfylde et amerikansk marinekorps krav om en to-sæders jagerfly med bombning og observationsevne tilpassede Curtiss flyets ramme.

En USAAC-kontrakt, der blev indgivet den 14. maj 1927, krævede fem fly med flystel, der stort set lignede P-1,.

Den 18. juni 1928 indgik USAAC en kontrakt med Curtiss om en prototype af XP-10 single-seat fighter drevet af en.

Selvom XF8C-2 og XF8C-4 var udpeget i F8C-serien, adskilte de sig meget fra F8C-1 og -3 og var dobbeltroller.

XP-17 omfattede flyrammen til den første P-1 parret med den nye 480hk Wright V-1460-3 Tornado inverteret inline luftkølet motor ,.

I løbet af 1928 syntes den 600-hk Curtiss H-1640 Chieftain 12-cylindrede luftkølede radial at vise løfte som et kampflykraftværk, og Curtiss.

Designet til at opfylde et letvægtsfartøjskrav - andre konkurrenter er Berliner Joyce XFJ -1 og General Aviation XFA -1 - the.

Jakten på hastighed førte til produktion af to konkurrerende monoplan -prototyper for at møde et amerikansk hærs angrebssprængningssprøjte.

I 1931 blev den tredje produktion P-6 (som var blevet konverteret til P-6A-standarden) trukket ud af drift og returneret til Curtiss.

For ikke at forveksle med Curtiss B-2 eller udviklingen af ​​Condor-passagerfly med 18 passagerer, var Condor en reklame med 15 passagerer.

XP-31 eller Curtiss Shrike fra 1932-3 var et helmetal, lavvinget, fjederbenet fjederskydesign, der trak stærkt på.

Curtiss XP-23 var den sidste biplan i forfølgelsesrækken. I de fleste henseender et helt nyt design og en.

The first YA-8 was used to test the feasibility of producing a radial engine-powered version of the Curtiss A-8. .

The Hawk II was essentially an export version of the XF11C-2 with a Wright R-1820F-3 Cyclone rated at 710hp at 1676m .

The fourth production F11C-2 (Goshawk) was completed with manually-operated retractable main undercarriage members accommodated by a deepened forward fuselage. It was powered .

Based on a US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics design for a two-seat fighter, the XF12C-1 all-metal parasol monoplane, ordered on 30 June .

Perhaps the most unusual single-seat fighter developed by Curtiss was the Model 70, which was designed from the outset to be flown .

On 16 April 1932, the US Navy ordered two prototypes of a new shipboard fighter under the designations XF11C-1 and XF11C-2, the .

The US Army had ordered 46 of the A-8B Shrike, but maintenance problems with the liquid-cooled engines of the .

Last of the Curtiss biplanes to be used operationally by the US Navy, the SOC Seagull has a service history .

Requiring a new two-seat fighter, the US Navy ordered a prototype from Curtiss in 1932 under the designation XF12C-1. .

The P-36 or Curtiss Model 75 Hawk, commonly called the Mohawk, began life as a private venture, soldiered bravely .

Soon after receiving an order from the USAAC for an evaluation quantity of its Model 75 fighter, Curtiss began to consider .

The CW-19L Coupe was designed by George Page as an advanced all-metal two-seat cantilever low-wing monoplane for the private owner. .

Designed by Donovan R Berlin to participate in a USAAC fighter contest scheduled to take place on 27 May 1935, the Model .

The export version of the BF2C-1, the Hawk III, differed from the US Navy fighter-bomber in reverting to the wooden wing .

The 'long-nosed' P-37 was a Curtiss attempt in the late 1930s to couple the P-36 Mohawk design with the .

One of the early production Curtiss P-36 aircraft was given an 864.4kW Allison V-1710-19 (G-13) engine (and designated XP-40) instead .

Completed late in 1938 as a company-owned demonstrator, the Hawk 75-R was essentially similar to the USAAC's P-36A. Its Pratt & .

In 1938, chief engineer Willis Wells of the St Louis Airplane Division of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation began the development of a single-seat .

The Curtiss XP-42, a conversion of a P-36A Mohawk airframe, was employed as a testbed at Wright Field, Ohio, beginning .

In 1937 the US Navy invited proposals for the design of a scout monoplane which would offer improved performance over .

The experimental contract for the Helldiver was awarded by the US Navy on 15 May 1939 and the prototype XSB2C-1 .

The Commando was evolved from the Curtiss-Wright CW-20 which was originally laid out as a 36-passenger pressurised commercial transport in .

The prototype Curtiss Wright CW-22 two-seat low-wing general-purpose or advanced training monoplace was developed at the Curtiss-Wright St Louis factory in .

Prior to the final termination of P-40 development, some effort was expended in combining aerodynamic refinement with increased power to produce .

The P-60 designation applies to a family of widely different Curtiss fighters, each reflecting the urgency of the builder's unsuccessful .

The XP-46 of 1939 was a late attempt by Curtiss to capitalize on lessons from early fighting in Europe and .

In 1940, with Europe already at war, the US Army Air Corps knew that it was essential to begin preparations .

The Curtiss XP-55 Ascender is perhaps best known of the three pusher fighters built for a 1941 competition in response .

On 30 June 1941, Curtiss received a prototype development contract for the XF14C-1 single-seat shipboard fighter designed around the 2,200hp Lycoming XH-2470-4 liquid-cooled .

The Curtiss XP-62 was the final propeller-driven fighter built by its manufacturer and the second largest single-seat fighter of orthodox .

Development of the Curtiss SC Seahawk began in June 1942, when the US Navy requested the company to submit proposals .

In May 1944, Curtiss indicated to the AAF that it wished to abandon further work on the P-60 series fighters because .

In late 1943 Curtiss received a US Navy order for two single-seat torpedo-bomber aircraft prototypes under the designation XBTC-1. A .

US Navy interest in the mixed-power concept for shipboard fighters - aircraft employing a piston engine for cruise and an auxiliary turbojet .

The Curtiss XF-87 Blackhawk fighter was an eye-catching and truly graceful all-black aircraft which attracted plenty of attention in flights .


Det Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter of World War II, after the P-51 and P-47 by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation's main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.

Det North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in April 1940 by a design team headed by James Kindelberger of North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission. The Purchasing Commission approached North American Aviation to build Curtiss P-40 fighters under license for the Royal Air Force (RAF). Rather than build an old design from another company, North American Aviation proposed the design and production of a more modern fighter. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed, and first flew on 26 October.

Det Curtiss P-36 Hawk, også kendt som Curtiss Hawk Model 75, is an American-designed and built fighter aircraft of the 1930s and 40s. A contemporary of both the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it was one of the first of a new generation of combat aircraft—a sleek monoplane design making extensive use of metal in its construction and powered by a powerful radial engine.

Det Ryan XF2R Dark Shark was an American experimental aircraft built for the United States Navy that combined turboprop and turbojet propulsion. It was based on Ryan Aeronautical's earlier FR Fireball, but replaced the Fireball's piston engine with a turboprop engine.

Det Seversky P-35 is an American fighter aircraft built by the Seversky Aircraft Company in the late 1930s. A contemporary of the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, the P-35 was the first single-seat fighter in United States Army Air Corps to feature all-metal construction, retractable landing gear, and an enclosed cockpit.

Det Curtiss-Wright XP-55 Ascender is a 1940s United States prototype fighter aircraft built by Curtiss-Wright. Along with the Vultee XP-54 and Northrop XP-56, it resulted from United States Army Air Corps proposal R-40C issued on 27 November 1939 for aircraft with improved performance, armament, and pilot visibility over existing fighters it specifically allowed for unconventional aircraft designs. An unusual design for its time, it had a canard configuration, a rear-mounted engine, swept wings, and two vertical tails. Because of its pusher design, it was sarcastically referred to as the "Ass-ender". Like the XP-54, the Ascender was designed for the Pratt & Whitney X-1800 engine, but was re-designed after that engine project was canceled. It was also the first Curtiss fighter aircraft to use tricycle landing gear.

Det Republic P-43 Lancer was a single-engine, all-metal, low-wing monoplane fighter aircraft built by Republic, first delivered to the United States Army Air Corps in 1940. A proposed development was the P-44 Rocket. While not a particularly outstanding fighter, the P-43A had a very good high-altitude performance coupled with an effective oxygen system. Fast and well-armed with excellent long-range capabilities, until the arrival of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, the Lancer was the only American fighter capable of catching a Japanese Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" reconnaissance plane at the speeds and heights at which they flew. In addition, the P-43 flew many long-range, high-altitude photo recon missions until replaced by F-4/F-5 Lightnings in both the USAAF and RAAF.

Det Curtiss P-60 was a 1940s American single-engine single-seat, low-wing monoplane fighter aircraft developed by the Curtiss-Wright company as a successor to their P-40. It went through a lengthy series of prototype versions, eventually evolving into a design that bore little resemblance to the P-40. None of these versions reached production.

Det Curtiss XP-62 was a prototype single-engine interceptor aircraft, that was built at the request of the United States Army Air Forces, by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. It first flew in 1943.

Det General Motors/Fisher P-75 Eagle was an American fighter aircraft designed by the Fisher Body Division of General Motors. Development started in September 1942 in response to United States Army Air Forces requirement for a fighter possessing an extremely high rate of climb, using the most powerful liquid-cooled engine then available, the Allison V-3420. The program was cancelled after only a small number of prototypes and production aircraft had been completed, as it was no longer required in its original role, could not be quickly deployed, and possessed no significant advantages over aircraft already in production.

Det Grumman XP-50 was a land-based development of the shipboard XF5F-1 Skyrocket fighter, entered into a United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) contest for a twin-engine heavy interceptor aircraft. The USAAC placed an order for a prototype on 25 November 1939, designating it XP-50, but it lost the competition to the Lockheed XP-49.

Det McDonnell XP-67 "Bat" eller "Moonbat" was a prototype for a twin-engine, long-range, single-seat interceptor aircraft for the United States Army Air Forces. Although the design was conceptually advanced, it was beset by numerous problems and never approached its anticipated level of performance. The project was cancelled after the sole completed prototype was destroyed by an engine fire.

Det Republic XP-69 was an American fighter aircraft proposed by Republic Aviation in 1941 in response to a requirement by the United States Army Air Corps for a high-speed fighter. Manufacturers were encouraged to consider unorthodox designs although the design was ordered as a prototype it was canceled because of delays with the engine that was to power it.

Det Vultee XP-54 Swoose Goose was a prototype fighter built by the Vultee Aircraft Company for the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF).

Det Bell P-76 was the proposed designation for a production model derivative of the XP-39E, a single-engine American fighter aircraft prototype of World War II.

Det Curtiss XP-42 was an experimental fighter built by Curtiss Aircraft in the late 1930s to research engine cooling and improving the performance of the Curtiss P-36.


The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was a WWII fighter aircraft that was developed from the P-36 Hawk, via the P-37. Many variants were built, some in large numbers, under names including the Hawk, Tomahawk and Kittyhawk.

Det Curtiss YP-20 was an American biplane fighter project developed by Curtiss for the United States Army Air Service.

Over twenty variants of the North American P-51 Mustang fighter were produced from 1940, when it first flew, to after the Second World War, some of which were employed also in the Korean War and in several other conflicts. Numerous examples of the aircraft survive to this day, often as warbirds or heavily modified air racers.

Det Curtiss P-37 was a fighter aircraft made by Curtiss-Wright in 1937. A development of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk, the P-37 never entered production.


Curtiss XP-40Q Fighter

Although not readily apparent at the time, Curtiss-Wright’s Airplane Division (Curtiss) was already in a state of decline at the start of World War II. The company’s final two truly successful aircraft, the P-40 Warhawk fighter and C-46 Commando transport, had already flown. While the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver carrier-based dive bomber would achieve some success toward the end of the war, its development was prolonged and plagued with issues, and the aircraft was never liked by its pilots and crews. Throughout the war years, Curtiss continually strove to develop world-beating aircraft but only managed to build one dead-end prototype after another. A brief glimmer of hope lay in the last model of the P-40, the P-40Q (Curtiss model 87X).

The Curtiss XP-40Q-1 (42-9987) with its standard canopy and sleek nose. Note the scoop for the engine air intake above the cowling.

XP-40Q development was initiated by 1943. The goal was to improve the P-40 to equal or surpass the performance of newer fighter aircraft. It was thought that the improved performance of the P-40Q would justify the aircraft entering production, and its similarities with P-40s then being produced would minimize tooling and production delays. In addition, there would be some part interchangeability with older P-40 aircraft, and current P-40 pilots and crews would be familiar with the new aircraft and its systems.

Three XP-40Q prototypes were built their origins and histories have always been a point of disagreement between sources. All XP-40Qs were built up from other P-40 airframes. They all had only four .50-cal machine guns with 235 rpg. All of the XP-40Q aircraft were powered by two-stage supercharged Allison V-1710 engines and a four-blade propeller.

Another view of the XP-40Q-1. Note the radiators and oil coolers mounted in the wing center section.

The XP-40Q-1 was the first aircraft, and it was built in 1943 from a P-40K-10 (serial 42-9987) that had been damaged in a landing accident on 27 January 1943. The Q-1 was painted olive drab and had the standard P-40 wing and canopy. The nose of the aircraft was lengthened to accommodate the V-1710-101 (F27R) engine. At 3,200 rpm, the -101 engine produced 1,500 hp (1,119 kW) at 6,000 ft (1,829 m) and 1,325 hp (988 kW) for takeoff. The Q-1’s engine air intake was positioned above the cowling. The radiator and oil cooler were moved from the P-40’s iconic chin location to the wing center section, just below the fuselage (similar to the XP-40K). The XP-40Q-1 had a 37 ft 4 in (11.4 m) wingspan and was 35 ft 4 in long (10.8 m)—about 2 ft (.6 m) longer than a standard P-40.

The Q-1’s first flight reportedly occurred on 13 June 1943 from the Curtiss plant in Buffalo, New York. It is not clear if the aircraft suffered another accident, or if Curtiss was unhappy with its configuration and decided to modify it further. Regardless, by November 1943, the Q-1 had been modified and redesignated XP-40Q-2. The aircraft’s rear fuselage was cut down and a bubble canopy installed. Engine coolant radiators were positioned in the wings just outboard of the main gear. The oil cooler and engine air intake were relocated to the classic P-40 chin position, but the scoop was shallower and more elegant. The Q-2 retained the olive drab paint.

The Curtiss XP-40Q-2 (still 42-9987) after modification with a bubble canopy. The oil cooler and engine air intake have been relocated to the scoop under the engine. The coolant radiators have been moved outside of the main gear. The wings are still the standard P-40 wings, but they were later clipped by about one foot.

Still utilizing the -101 engine, the Q-2 was noted for having excellent visibility and handling. The aircraft had balanced controls and was very maneuverable, with a tight turn radius. Capt. Gustav Lundquist had evaluated the Q-2 and judged it to be the best P-40 he had flown he recommended that further flight testing should be conducted. In December 1943, the Air Materiel Command recognized the XP-40Q-2’s performance and recommended that two additional prototypes be constructed.

Reportedly, the Q-2 was delivered to Eglin Field, Florida for testing in January 1944, but it was back at the Curtiss plant in Buffalo, New York in March for a series of flight tests. By this time, the Q-2 had its wingtips clipped about one foot each, and a V-1710-121 (F28R) engine was installed. The -121 produced 1,800 hp (1,342 kW) with water injection at 3,200 rpm up to 20,000 ft (6,096 m) and 1,425 hp (1,062 kW) for takeoff.

The XP-40Q-2A (42-45722) looking very much like the XP-40Q-2 but with clipped wings. This aircraft would change little throughout its existence.

A flight evaluation from April 1944 again noted the XP-40Q-2 as superior to all other P-40s and a very good aircraft overall. The XP-40Q-2 had a 35 ft 3 in (10.7 m) wingspan and was 35 ft 4 in (10.8 m) long. With full engine power at 3,000 rpm and water injection, the aircraft achieved 420 mph (676 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,572 m) and had a maximum climb rate of 4,410 fpm (22.4 m/s) at 5,000 ft (1,524 m). At 3,200 rpm and with water injection, maximum speed was 422 mph (679 km/h) at 20,500 ft (6,248 m), and the climb rate increased by as much as 530 fpm (2.7 m/s) depending on altitude. However, the 3,200 rpm engine speed was only shown to offer an advantage between 12,000 and 33,000 ft (3,658 and 10,058 m). With just military power, the Q-2 recorded a speed of 407 mph (655 km/h) at 24,000 ft (7,315 m) and a climb rate of 3,210 fpm (16.3 m/s) at sea level. The aircraft could climb from sea level to 20,000 ft (6,096 m) in 4.8 minutes, 30,000 ft (9,144 m) in 8.9 minutes, and 39,000 ft (11,887 m) in 26.1 minutes. The Q-2’s service ceiling was 39,000 ft (11,887 m), and it had a gross weight of 9,000 lb (4,082 kg). The aircraft’s range was 700 miles (1,127 km).

The Q-2 was damaged when it nosed over after a test flight on 24 March 1944. The aircraft was repaired and then sent to Wright Field, Ohio in mid-1944. The aircraft was damaged again when it ground looped while landing on 31 July 1944. It is not clear if the aircraft was repaired or if the damage was too severe.

This image of the XP-40Q-2A illustrates the clipped wings. Note the size of the bubble canopy and how to could be a bit smaller. The four .50-cal wing guns are easily seen. The XP-40Q was definitely a nice looking aircraft.

The next aircraft was the XP-40Q-2A. It was built from the initial P-40K-1 (serial 42-45722) that had been converted to the (unofficial) XP-40N. During the XP-40N conversion, the aircraft had a bubble canopy installed. This modification predated and served as the template for the bubble canopy that was installed on the Q-2.

The Q-2A was very similar to the final configuration of the Q-2—with a bubble canopy, clipped wings, and -121 engine. However, some modifications to the cockpit and canopy were made, and automatic radiator and oil cooler shutters were added. The Q-2A had a natural metal finish.

The Q-2A’s first flight occurred prior to the end of March 1944. The aircraft was plagued with engine trouble that resulted in a number of forced landings. The Q-2A spent most of its test time down for repairs. As a result, the Army Air Force (AAF) focused on the next aircraft, the Q-3, and loaned the Q-2A to Allison for engine tests. The Q-2A most likely had the same specifications and performance as the -121-powered Q-2.

The XP-40Q-3 was the last aircraft in the series. The Q-3 was built in early 1944 from a P-40N-25 (serial 43-24571) and was the only XP-40Q actually classified as such by the AAF. The aircraft was very similar to the XP-40Q-2A except for some refinements to the canopy and windscreen. The canopy was a bit smaller, and the flat windscreen was longer and more angled than the windscreen used on the preceding aircraft. Overall, the changes improved pilot visibility. The Q-3 had a -121 engine and a natural metal finish.

The last of the Curtiss P-40Qs: the XP-40Q-3 (43-24571). This aircraft later had anti-glare paint applied to the upper cowling, its serial number painted on the the tail, and 󈫼” painted on the chin scoop. Note the radiator air inlets in the wings.

Delivered to AAF in April 1944, the Q-3 suffered an engine failure during an early test flight. The aircraft was moderately damaged in the subsequent forced landing. At this time, other aircraft with superior performance were available, and there was no AAF interest in repairing the Q-3 because there was no need for a P-40Q. It is doubtful that much performance testing was conducted on the Q-3, but the results should have been similar to those of the Q-2.

In March 1946, Allison still had the XP-40Q-2A (the second XP-40Q) when the AAF declared the aircraft as surplus. It is not clear if Allison purchased the aircraft and then later resold it or if it was sold as surplus directly from the AAF. Regardless, Joe Ziegler acquired the aircraft, and it was registered as NX300B. Given race number 82, the Q-2A was entered in the 1947 Thompson Trophy Race (run on 1 September 1947), but it did not qualify. Ziegler started the race anyway and was running in fourth place when the engine caught fire after just completing the 13th lap. Ziegler pulled up and off the course and bailed out of the Q-2A. Zeigler suffered a broken leg, and the Q-2A was destroyed.

This view of the XP-40Q-3 illustrates the revised canopy compared to the XP-40Q-2A. Note the oil cooler exit doors on the cowling just in front of the wing.

The story of the XP-40Q aircraft is a confusing one involving only three airframes but somewhere around eight designations and a number of different configurations. The P-40Q was one of the finest fighters Curtiss ever built, but the aircraft was two years or so too late. Its performance and capabilities were matched or exceeded by other aircraft already in service. Even if the P-40Q airframe had been ready two years earlier, the two-stage Allison engines would not have been ready, as they were still having developmental trouble in 1944. Sadly, the XP-40Q scenario was played out again and again as Curtiss tried to create another successful aircraft but only managed to produce aircraft that were ill-timed and outclassed.

Note: There is no indication that any of the XP-40Q aircraft used any type of a laminar flow wing. There is also no indication that any XP-40Q information was passed from Curtiss to North American Aviation (NAA) during the NA-73X’s (P-51’s) development. Not only are the two aircraft different in almost every way, there is no part of their separate developmental timelines that coincide. NAA did purchase some information from Curtiss at the request of the British government, but that information pertained to the XP-46 and arrived after the NA-73X was already designed.

The XP-40Q-2A seen at Cleveland, Ohio for the Thompson Trophy Race in 1947. Other than some paint, including its registration and race number, the aircraft had changed little since its AAF days. It is truly unfortunate that the aircraft would soon be destroyed as a result of an engine fire.


Curtiss XP-42

The Curtiss XP-42, a conversion of a P-36A Mohawk airframe, was employed as a testbed at Wright Field, Ohio, beginning in March 1939 to determine whether stream-lining could reduce drag in a radial-powered fighter and make it competitive with more advanced fighters employing inline engines. This concept was seen as an alternative to adapting the P-36A airframe to an inline powerplant, as had been done with the prototype P-40 Warhawk. Delivered to the Army in March 1939, the XP-42 was powered by a 783kW Pratt & Whitney R-1830-31 Twin Wasp radial enclosed by a bullet-shaped, sheet-metal cowling extended forward to culminate in a large, pointed spinner. An airscoop below the spinner provided cooling air, while smaller intakes above the engine provided air to the carburettor. It was immediately clear that this sleek, long-nosed configuration offered none of the advantages of the inline engine employed not only by the P-40 but also by such types as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and North American Mustang. The aerodynamic nose shape provided almost no reduction in drag, and cooling problems proved almost insurmountable. While the XP-42 was marginally faster than the open-cowl P-36A, its performance did not compare favourably with the P-40 or with other, newer fighters of the immediate pre-war period.

A variety of nose configurations was tried on the XP-42, altering its fuselage length with each change, but none vindicated the enclosed radial engine and Curtiss's production facilities, in the event, were taken up with the inline-powered P-40. When hostilities began, the XP-42 had been ruled out as a possible production aircraft but continued to aid in research. In 1942, the XP-42 tested an all-flying stabilizer, similar to the stabilator found on modern jets. The XP-42 had begun flying in natural metal finish and was camouflaged during one of its minor rebuilds. The airframe, which contributed knowledge to designers and engineers, was eventually taken out of service as other wartime priorities beckoned. Curtiss would continue to explore new fighter ideas with XP-46, XP-60 and XF-87, but the company's predominant role in the fighter field was fast becoming history.

Sturm what are you talking about? At that point in US Air Corp history performance requirements were issued to all interested companies and designs were openly competed. A lot of attempts were made to improve the breed of several designs. The p-36 design went to the P-40, P-42, P-46 and P-60, just for one example. There were several variations on the P-60. None of them were improvements over existing designs, so why bother with them. The North American P-51 was not even asked for but offered to the British as a better design than the P-40. First an acceptable design did not really come into its own until the Allison engine was replaced by the Rolls Royce Merlin. So there is little evidence of favoritism. Had there been then Curtiss with its long line of fighters from the 1920's and 30's would have remained the favorite, clearly they did not. Certainly nothing, absolutely nothing in comparison to the NAZI's.
Leo, what do you mean in your question? The US Army Air Corp tried just about anything that came along. Just look at the P-45, -46, -48, -49, -50. And there are several more. No matter how you cut it the best designs were the more conservative designs.


Operatører

  • Republic of China Air Force operated 50 Hawk II. [3]
  • Cuban Air Force received three P-6S fighters with the 450   hp (336   kW) Wasp radial engine.
  • Japan bought one P-6S, possibly updated with a Conqueror engine.
  • Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force received eight examples of a P-6D with the Conqueror engine in 1930, another six were license-built by Aviolanda in 1931 and sent to Dutch East Indies as well. Three P-6 were lost before war: two in midair collision on 27 February 1936 and one probably after crash-landing 5 February 1935.
  • United States Army Air Corps
  • Bolivian Air Force used the P-6S during the Chaco War. On 22 December 1932 a P-6 Hawk from Fortín Vitriones attacked Paraguayan gunboat ARP Tacuary which was anchored at Bahía Negra near ( 20䓍󉎸″S 58䓊󉎉″W  /  20.23°S 58.16694°W  / -20.23 -58.16694 )

BOOK ON CURTISS FARM RECALLS ITS HISTORY

Every Christmas, the late Otto Schnering, owner of Cary-based Curtiss Candy Company Farms, threw a large company party in the bullpen of the farm, although, judging by the sentiments of former employees, it was more of a family affair.

Schnering "was very well-liked," Dean Dunn, a former employee said. "It was a big family."

Now, 28 years after the farm was sold to G.D. Searle, and subsequently moved to Elburn, several former employees have joined together to publish a 172-page book that tells the history of the farm. The book includes 165 photographs.

Readers got their first look at the finished product Dec. 20, when the book rolled off the presses.

"There area lot of people living around the valley today . . . that worked for the farm (which ran along Cary-Algonquin Road). That's the reason we're writing this," Dunn said. "At one time, it was estimated about half the town of Cary worked at the farm or was employed with it in some way."

Nancy Johnson Helmar of Cary, one of the co-authors of the book, grew up on the farm, where her father was employed caring for the chickens, turkeys and ducks.

Helmar remembered the farm as a fun place where she and her friends got together for baseball games and roller skating. She told how each year, horseback-riding competitions were held for the kids.

Helmar said that the farm was self-sufficient. It included a private well and dump, and Schnering gave free eggs, milk and chickens to the employees. He also dug and stocked several trout ponds on the property.

Helmar remembered growing up on the farm and wrote that portion of the book. But, internationally the farm was renowned for its top-quality cattle, Belgian horses, Shropshire sheep and Yorkshire hogs. It also was a leading enterprise in the field of artificial insemination of cattle.

According to Dunn, Schnering founded the farm in 1942 to produce milk for his candy products. At one time, Schnering's operation included 10,000 acres of farmland in four counties north and west of Chicago.

Schnering died in 1953, and the farm continued to operate until 1968.

"I called the kids that lived on the farm," Helmar said, "and found out what they were doing (when the book came out). I haven't seen them since I was a kid, but you never lose those friendships. They're friends for life."


Historie

In 1907, Glenn Curtiss was recruited by the scientist Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, to be among the founding members of Bell's Aerial Experimental Association (AEA), with the purpose of helping establish an aeronautical research and development organization. [1] According to Bell, it was a "co-operative scientific association, not for gain but for the love of the art and doing what we can to help one another." [2]

In 1909, the AEA was disbanded [3] and Curtiss formed the Herring-Curtiss Company with Augustus Moore Herring on March 20, 1909, [4] which was renamed the Curtiss Aeroplane Company in 1910. [5] [6]

Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company

Det Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company was created on January 13, 1916 from the Curtiss Aeroplane Company of Hammondsport, New York and Curtiss Motor Company of Bath, New York. Burgess Company of Marblehead, Massachusetts, became a subsidiary in February 1916. [7]

With the onset of World War I, military orders rose sharply, and Curtiss needed to expand quickly. In 1916, the company moved its headquarters and most manufacturing activities to Buffalo, New York, where there was far greater access to transportation, manpower, manufacturing expertise, and much needed capital. The company housed an aircraft engine factory in the former Taylor Signal Company-General Railway Signal Company. [8] An ancillary operation was begun in Toronto, Ontario that was involved in both production and training, setting up the first flying school in Canada in 1915. [9]

In 1917, the two major aircraft patent holders, the Wright Company and the Curtiss Company, had effectively blocked the building of new airplanes, which were desperately needed as the United States was entering World War I. The U.S. government, as a result of a recommendation of a committee formed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, pressured the industry to form a cross-licensing organization (in other terms a Patent pool), the Manufacturer's Aircraft Association. [10] [11] [12]

Curtiss was instrumental in the development of U.S. Naval Aviation by providing training for pilots and providing aircraft. The first major order was for 144 various subtypes of the Model F trainer flying boat. [4] In 1914, Curtiss had lured B. Douglas Thomas from Sopwith to design the Model J trainer, which led to the JN-4 two-seat biplane trainer (known affectionately as the "Jenny"). [13] [14]

The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company worked with the United States' British and Canadian allies, resulting in JN-4 (Can) trainers (nicknamed the "Canuck") being built in Canada. [15] In order to complete large military orders, JN-4 production was distributed to five other manufacturers. After the war, large numbers of JN-4s were sold as surplus, making influential as the first plane for many interwar pilots, including Amelia Earhart. [16] A stamp was printed to commemorate the Curtiss JN-4, however a printing error resulted in some having the aircraft image inverted, which has become very valuable, and one of the best known rare stamps, even being featured in a number of movies.

The Curtiss HS-2L flying boat was used extensively in the war for anti-submarine patrols and was operated from bases in Nova Scotia, Canada, France and Portugal. The John Cyril Porte of the Royal Navy and Curtiss worked together to improve the design of the Curtiss flying boats resulting in the Curtiss F5L and the similar Felixstowe F.3. Curtiss also worked with the US Navy to develop the NC-4, which became the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919, making several stops enroute. By the end of World War I, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company would claim to be the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, employing 18,000 in Buffalo and 3,000 in Hammondsport, New York. Curtiss produced 10,000 aircraft during that war, and more than 100 in a single week.

Peace brought cancellation of wartime contracts. In September 1920, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company underwent a financial reorganization and Glenn Curtiss cashed out his stock in the company for $32 million and retired to Florida. [17] He continued as a director of the company but served only as an advisor on design. Clement M. Keys gained control of the company and it later became the nucleus of a large group of aviation companies. [18]

Curtiss seaplanes won the Schneider Cup in two consecutive races, those of 1923 and 1925. The 1923 race was won by U.S. Navy Lieutenant David Rittenhouse flying a Curtiss C.R.3 to 177.266 miles per hour (285.282 km/h).

Piloted by U.S. Army Lt. Cyrus K. Bettis, a Curtiss R3C won the Pulitzer Trophy Race on October 12, 1925, at a speed of 248.9 miles per hour (400.6 km/h). [19] Thirteen days later, Jimmy Doolittle won the Schneider Trophy in the same aircraft fitted with floats with a top speed of 232.573 miles per hour (374.290 km/h).

The Curtiss Robin light transport was first flown in 1928, becoming one of the company's biggest sellers during the Great Depression, and the 769 built helped keep the company solvent when orders for military aircraft were hard to find.

Curtiss-Wright Corporation

On July 5, 1929, Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company together with 11 other Wright and Curtiss affiliated companies merged to became the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. One of the last projects started by Curtiss Aeroplane was the ambitious Curtiss-Bleecker SX-5-1 Helicopter, a design that had propellers located midpoint on each of the four large rotors that drove the main rotors. The design, while costly and well engineered, was a failure. [20]

Curtiss Aviation School

Curtiss also operated an flying school at Long Branch Aerodrome in Toronto Township, Ontario from 1915 to 1917 before being taken over by the Royal Flying Corps Canada. [21]

Atlantic Coast Aeronautical Station

Glenn H. Curtiss sponsored the Atlantic Coast Aeronautical Station on a 20-acre tract east of Newport News, VA Boat Harbor in the Fall of 1915 with Captain Thomas Scott Baldwin as head. Many civilian students, including Canadians, later became famed WW1 flyers. Victor Carlstrom, Vernon Castle, Eddie Stinson and General Billy Mitchell trained here. The school was disbanded in 1922.


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