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Curtiss R

 

At the beginning of 1915 there appeared the prototype Curtiss Model R, which was in 1935 given the retrospective designation Model 2, an enlarged version of the Model N with equal-span staggered wings. The prototype with highly-staggered, equal-span wings and with single long cockpit for pilot and observer. Powered by 160 hp (119 kW) Curtiss V-X engine. It was flown both as a land-plane and float seaplane. Pilot and observer of this military reconnaissance biplane were housed in one long open cockpit and the Model R could be distinguished from the Model N by its inter-plane ailerons and lack of a fixed fin.
 
The initial production military utility series version were designated as R-2 introduced unequal-span wings with ailerons attached to the upper wing, a vertical tailplane which incorporated a fixed fin and horn-balanced rudder and there were separate and widely spaced cockpits for the two crew members. The Curtiss V-X engine of the prototype was retained. The R-2 went into production at the end of 1915 and was built in some numbers, 12 going to the US Army (AS64-75), making only limited use of the type. The US Army R-2s were flown in support of the expedition against the Mexican insurgent leader Pancho Villa, but although their serviceability was poor they flew a number of reconnaissance and liaison missions. One hundred were built for the Royal Navy Air Service.
 
The one-off R-2A was an equal-span variant and established an American domestic altitude record of 2740m, carrying pilot and three passengers, in August 1915. Two R-3 seaplanes, resembling the R-2 but with increased wing span, were brought by the US Navy in 1916.
 
The R-3 of 1917 was a USN reconnaissance twin-float development of the Model R with three-bay wings. Two were built as R-3, A66 and A67, and 11 or transfers to the Army, also as landplane, but somehow came off the assembly line as R-9s (AS33748, AS39033-39042).
 
The R-4 (Model 2) of 1917 were an Army ambulance version of the R-2. Fifty-five were converted (AS177-192, AS281-316, AS469, AS2157, and AS37923), plus 12 new-build with a 400hp Liberty 12 as R-4L (AS39362-39367, AS39954-39959). They were refitted with 360hp Liberty 12 engines (de-rated ex-USN motor) as R-4LM.
 
One R-6 Mailplane is recorded as transferred from military surplus for evaluation in air mail service, powered with a Curtiss V-2-3, 200hp.
 
The Model R-4LM were conversion of R-4L into mailplane for the US Army, with the front cockpit converted to a mail compartment with capacity for 400 lb (181 kg) of mail. Many were used after WW1 in air mail service.  
 
The Model 2 / R-6 were two-seat floatplane with long-span wings of R-3 but powered with Curtiss V-2-3 engine. Seventy-six (A162-197) were delivered to the US Navy plus twenty (A302-341, AS504-521, AS68563-68564) floatplanes and landplanes for US Army. They were used for torpedo-bomber trials post war.
 
Forty R-6 (A302-341) were converted to the Model 2 / R-6L with a 360 hp (269 kW) Liberty L-12 engine, plus 122 (A873-994) were built new in 1918.
 
The Model 2A / R-9 of 1917 was a two-seat bomber version of the R-6 for the US Navy, similar to the R-6, but with crew positions reversed so pilot sat in front cockpit and observer in rear. 112 built for the US Navy, ten of which (A883-887, A901-905) transferred to US Army in 1918 (as AS39033-39042).
 
Curtiss R-2
Engine: 1 x 160 hp / 119kW Curtiss V-X inline piston
Wingspan: 14.00 m / 45 ft 11 in
Length: 11.70 m / 38 ft 5 in
Wing area: 46.90 sq.m / 504.83 sq ft
Height: 14 ft 4⅜ in (7.43 m)
Take-off weight: 1403 kg / 3093 lb
Empty weight: 826 kg / 1821 lb
Max. speed: 138 km/h / 86 mph
Range: 558 miles (900 km)
Endurance: 6 hours 42 min
Seats: 2
 
R-3 / R-9
Engine: 200hp Curtiss V-2 (also V-X)
Wingspan: 57 ft 1 in
Length: 33'5"
Speed: 83 mph
Seats: 2
Undercarriage: twin-float
 
2 / R-4
Engine: 200hp Curtiss V-2-3, 200 hp (149 kW)
Wingspan: 48'4"
Length: 29'0"
Useful load: 1047 lb
Speed: 90 mph
 
2 / R-4LM
Engine: 360hp Liberty 12
Wingspan: 48'4"
Length: 29'0"
Mail compartment capacity: 400 lb (181 kg)
 
2 / R-6
Engine: Curtiss V-2-3, 200 hp (149 kW)
Wingspan: 57'1"
Length: 33'5"
Useful load: 2149 lb
Max speed: 104 mph
Cruise speed: 82 mph
Stall: 53 mph
Range: 368 mi
Seats: 2
 
R-6 Mailplane
1919
Engine: Curtiss V-2-3, 200hp
Seats: 1
 
R-6L
Undercarriage: Twin-float
Engine: 360hp Liberty 12
Wingspan: 57'0"
Max speed: 104 mph
Cruse speed: 92 mph
Stall: 56 mph
Range: 368 mi
Ceiling: 9,900 ft

 

 

 

 


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