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Old 02-20-2015, 06:21 PM   #22
TCT1911
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Taken from another forum about the R-9...


I've just come across another referrence that mentions a little about the Curtiss R-9. It is "U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909" compiled by John Andrade and published by Midland Counties Publications of the U.K. in 1979. This book lists the Army, Air force and Navy serial numbers (not the manufacturer's serial numbers) assigned by aircraft type, and it includes a word or two about each aircraft type.

For the undesignated aircraft, which are the ones built between 1909 and 1919, the listings for the Curtiss R planes include the following: "The R-9 was the bomber version of the R-6, with the pilot relocated in the front cockpit; the US Navy received 40 (BuA 302 -341). ten of which were handed over to the U.S. Army and re-serialed ( 39035 - 39042, 39748 ), and a few R-6 were converted to R-9." There is also a mention that the R-6 and R-9 had three-bay wings which was a modification from the R-4 which I assume had two-bay wings. It also mentions that some R-6 were upgraded with 200 horsepower Liberty engines which made them R-6L while all of the R-9 were fitted with this more powerful engine.

Most of this reference tracks with the Bowers information kindly shared by Baclightning, but there is a discrepancy between the references in the numbers produced with Andrade saying the total was 40 being built for the U.S. Navy of which 10 were given to the Army Air Service while Bowers reports 112 being built for the U.S. Navy of which 10 were given to the Army Air Service. The question then becomes which reference is accurate? My first thought is that the Andrade source backs up his totals with specific Navy and Air Service serial numbers for the the R-9 aircraft and this gives me a bit more confidence in these numbers. Off the top oc my head I suppose that perhaps the Bowers number includes the R-6 aircraft that were converted to the R-9 bomber configurations, but that would mean that 72 of the 176 R-6 aircraft built by Curtiss were converted to R-9 which seems to me to be a very high number. On the other hand this might also be the root of the conflicting sources on whether it was the Curtiss R-6 or the R-9 that was the first U.S. built military aircraft to be used in World War I. It could be that both answers are accurate if the aircraft were R-9 converted from R-6 configuration. This is all just brainstorming though. Does anyone have any additional references that might shed more light on the Curtiss R-9 production numbers or whether it was the R-6 or R-9 that was the first U.S. built military aircraft to be used in World War I?






Curtiss Navy planes... (looks like they could be R9's)

The Huntington at NAS, Pensacola, Florida with an experimental catapult installed over the aft gun and fan tail. Here a seaplane is being checked for launching. These early experiments were the beginnings of US Naval Aviation and was the crucial link to the first Aircraft Carriers of the US Navy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg USS-Huntington-plane.jpg (37.7 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg USS-Huntington-plane-2.jpg (28.4 KB, 1 views)

Last edited by TCT1911; 02-20-2015 at 06:36 PM.
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