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Kirkham, Chas. B

Kirkham (1882-1969) was a friend and collaborator of Glenn Curtiss. He made motorcycle engines from about 1900, and in 1910 an aero engine. In 1915 he joined Curtiss in engine work and is chiefly known in connection with the famous D-12. Wanting a fighter worthy of his K-12 engine, with its small frontal area, Kirkham planned a two-seat triplane with excellent streamlining, first flown July 5,1918. To this record-breaker the name Kirkham Fighter, 18-T or Curtiss-Kirkham was applied, though the Curtiss name alone was later used for land and sea versions. U.S. Army had 18-B biplane equivalent, also sometimes called Curtiss-Kirkham. Navy's two 18-Ts were later adapted for racing. In 1920s Kirkham's company Kirkham Products designed aircraft to special order.

 


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