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Curtiss R3C-2 Racer
Single-engine Single-seat Float-plane Biplane Racer, U.S.A.


Archive Photos 1


[Curtiss R3C-2 Racer at the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC (Photo by John Shupek)]

Overview 2


  • Curtiss R3C
  • Role: Racing aircraft
  • Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
  • First flight: 18 September 1925
  • Introduction: 1925
  • Primary users: US Navy; US Army
  • Number built: 3
  • Developed from: Curtiss R2C

The Curtiss R3C was an American racing aircraft built in landplane and floatplane form. It was a single-seat biplane built by the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company.

The R3C-1 was the landplane version and Cyrus Bettis won the Pulitzer Trophy Race in one on 12 October 1925 with a speed of 248.9 mph (406.5 km/h).

The R3C-2 was a twin float seaplane built for the Schneider Trophy race. In 1925, it took place at Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore, Maryland. With 232.57 mph (374.274 km/h), pilot Jimmy Doolittle won the trophy with a Curtiss R3C-2. The other two R3C-2s, piloted by George Cuddihy and Ralph Oftsie, did not reach the finish line. The next day, with the same plane on a straight course, Doolittle reached 245.7 mph (395.4 km/h), a new world record. For the next Schneider Trophy, which took place on 13 November 1926, the R3C-2's engine was further improved, and pilot Christian Franck Schilt took second place with 231.364 mph (372.34 km/h).

Operators 2


  • United States: United States Navy - two examples; United States Army Air Service - one example

Curtiss R3C-2 Specifications 3


General Characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 22 ft 0 in (6.71 m)
  • Wingspan: 22 ft 0 in (6.71 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 4 in (3.15 m)
  • Wing area: 144 ft2 (13.4 m2)
  • Airfoil: Curtiss C-80
  • Empty weight: 2,135 lb (968 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,738 lb (1,242 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss V-1400 V-12 water-cooled piston engine, 565 hp (421 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 245 mph (394 km/h, 213 kn)
  • Range: 290 mi (470 km, 250 nmi) at full throttle

References


  1. Shupek, John. The Skytamer Photo Archive, photos by John Shupek, copyright © 2001 Skytamer Images (Skytamer.com)
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Curtiss R3C
  3. Bowers, Peter M. (1979). Curtis Aircraft 1907 — 1947, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, ISBN 0-87021-152-8

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