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Curtiss R-1


In August 1920, Curtiss the company was forced into receivership. Clement Keys, a Canadian financier, obtained funds to manage the company's debt and led it again to sound financial status. The Buffalo facility became the major facility, and the company remained the largest U.S. aircraft company through the 1920s. Its racing planes, including the CR-1 and CR-3, won several competitions.

The active cooperation between Curtiss and the military on racers began in 1921, with the appearance of the R-1 (No. A-6080). This biplane was powered by a 400 hp Curtiss D-12 engine which enabled Curtiss test pilot Bert Acosta to win the 1921 Pulitzer Trophy Race at 177 mph. For 1922, the Navy was ready with that airplane and its sister-ship-the R-2 (No. A-6081), Lt. Harold Brow placed third in the 1922 Pulitzer Race in the new airplane, while Lt. AI Williams was fourth in the older ship. Both airplanes were then converted into seaplanes by the addition of twin pontoons; as R-3s they captured the Schneider Trophy. Lt. David Rittenhouse was the winner of the prestigious event in A-6081 at 177 mph, and Lt. Irvine was second at 173 mph.


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