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Curtiss CR-1 / CR-2 / CR-3 / CR-4

 

The single CR-1 of 1921, A6080, had conventional gear. It later became a CR-3.

The single CR-2 (original designation for CR-4) of 1921, A6081, was flown by USN Lt Harold Brow to third place in the 1922 Pulitzer race, in which Curtiss ships took the first four places. It later became a CR-3.

A CR-3 was winner of the 1921 Pulitzer trophy race piloted by Bert Acosta, at 176.7 mph.

In 1923 the Schneider Trophy Contest at Cowes, Isle of Wight was won by an American Curtiss CR-3 racing seaplane at a speed of 285km/h, piloted by Lieut David Rittenhouse. Close behind was a second CR-3 flown by Lieut Rutledge Irvine with a speed of 279.16km/h. The only other aircraft to complete the 344.69km course was Britain's Supermarine Sea Lion III, powered by a Napier Lion engine which was almost 19% more powerful than the Curtiss D-12 carrying the CR-3 to victory.
Richard Fairey realised that the Curtiss engine, in combination with a Curtiss-Reed propeller, was a most significant factor in this American success.

The CR-4s of 1923 were CR-1 with pontoons and CR-2 redesignated and modified to an unknown extent. The two were A6080/6081. A CR-4 set seaplane speed record of 188mph in 1924.

 
The Schneider Trophy never experienced any casualties during competition, but several pilots were killed training for the races. U.S. citizens Harmon J. Norton in 1923 were killed in a Curtiss CR-3 and Franck Connaut in 1926.

 

CR-3
Engine: Curtiss D-12, 450hp
Wingspan: 22'8"
Length: 25'1"
Max speed: 194 mph

 


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