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Curtiss Flying Boat Nr.2 / E / Flying Fish

 

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Curtiss left San Diego in the spring of 1912 to return to Hammondsport, where he commenced work on Flying Boat No.2 during the spring of 1912, which, in its original configuration, utilised standard components of the 1911 model E land and hydro (float) plane, including twenty-eight foot, eight inch single surface, equal span wings and a pusher mounted 75 hp Curtiss O V-8 engine. Its flat-bottomed, scow-type hull, unlike Boat No.1, extended all the way aft to support an empennage consisting of a long-chord fin and rudder with cruciform horizontal surfaces. To reduce the danger of sinking after hard landings, the hull was constructed with six watertight compartments.
 
Initial trials were not successful, as Flying Boat No.2 could not be made to unstick from the water at takeoff speed. After observing numerous attempts, Curtiss modified the hull to incorporate a step just behind the centre of gravity. The step produced a reduction in hydrodynamic drag by lifting almost half of the hull free of the water and increased lift by permitting the nose of the aircraft to be rotated up to a positive angle of attack.
 
Other changes made included standpipes that bled air into the cavity behind the step, a secondary canard elevator on the nose (later removed due to control problems), and triangular extensions to the upper wing to increase lift.

 

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Flown by Glenn Curtiss on 26 January, 1911, the first practical seaplane.By the fall of 1912 Curtiss had made sufficient progress with the design to sell the Navy its first boat-hulled aircraft.
 
The first seaplane was maneuverable, light, and relatively fast, and was the most widely built type of plane in the United States before World War I.

 

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