Aeromarine M / 39 / Sportsman
The Aeromarine 39 was a seaplane primary trainer version of the M-1 with the wingspan increased to carry the weight of twin floats. One was built.
In 1917 the Navy placed with the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company of Keyport, NJ, what was at that time the largest single order for Navy aircraft - 50 of the Model 39-A and 150 39-B trainers. These were conventional two-bay wood and fabric biplanes and could be fitted with wheels or floats. The 39-As used the four-cylinder Hall-Scott A-7A engine of 100 hp and the seaplane versions had twin wooden floats. The 39-B was powered by the 100 hp Curtiss OXX-6 engine, the seaplanes having the single main pontoon with small wingtip floats for stability which the Navy preferred for its training and service seaplanes and was to retain until seaplane trainers were dropped from the inventory in 1960.
Fifty of the originally built designs were reassigned under the designation of 39A. The 39A models featured twin floats and the plane was powered by a Hall-Scott A-7 engine. Fifty were built with the 100hp Hall-Scott A-7 [A450/499]. The Hall-Scott A-7 was an early aircraft engine with a straight 4 configuration and could produce a maximum of 100 horsepower (75 kW). These engines suffered from consistency problems and many were prone to catch fire while in operation forcing the manufacturer to start using the Curtiss OXX powerplant. The Aeromarine 39-A was equipped with various engines: Aeromarine, Beardmore, Hisso, OX-5, OXX-6.
Other redesigns increased the wingspan for more lift needed for those water take-offs. This became known as the 39B. Additional changes included a single pontoon with outrigger floats, plus an enlarged vertical tail surface.
The single Sportsman built in 1917 was a civil version of Aeromarine 39-B by Burnelli. Refitted with floats, it made the first aerial delivery of mail to a ship at sea on 14 August 1919.
In 1917 Aeromarine received from US Navy largest single order for aircraft then placed by that service: 50 Model 39-A and 150 Model 39-B biplane trainers (wheel or float undercarriage).
A number of the 39-Bs survived World War I, and two were used for the Navy's early experiments in deck landing. Various types of arrester gear were tried on a dummy carrier deck at Langley Field, Virginia, in 1921. The aeroplane was fitted with the forerunner of the modern hook that engaged the cross-deck arrester cables, while alignment hooks were fitted to the undercarriage to engage longitudinal wires on the deck to keep the machine running straight. In anticipation of forced landings at sea in the course of later operations from shipboard, a hydrovane was fitted ahead of the wheels to prevent nosing over on alighting.
On October 26, 1922, a 39-B piloted by Lt Cdr Geoffrey DeChevalier, Naval Aviator No.7, made the first landing on the deck of the Navy's first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, a converted collier. deC.Chevalier circled the USS Langley as the ship was underway at 10 knots. Chevalier successfully landed his plane on the moving deck of the Langley. The first such landing on an American carrier. This was nine days after the first take-off had been made in a Vought VE-7.
The 39-BL was also a two seat trainer.
The 1921 39-R sold for US$10,300 and 14 were built.
Aeromarine 39-B, USS Langley Oct 1922