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Old 02-20-2015, 05:51 PM   #21
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Naval Air Station (NAS) Rockaway was one of the U.S. Navy's original Naval Air Stations. Operational between 1917 and 1930, it was staffed with as few as a handful of men to as many as a maximum of 1,285 men. Over 80 buildings and several large hangars were constructed. Fort Tilden's battery of four 12 inch mortars were also located inside the boundaries of the 96 acre NAS Rockaway.

The famous Navy-Curtiss NC type "Nancy" flying boats of NAS Rockaway were the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic. Due to the inadequate fuel capacity of the NC aircraft, the aircraft landed many times to be refueled by pre-positioned Navy ships. This flight was a triumph in 1919 and remained so until 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo, non-stop flight from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, NY, to Paris.

In addition to the NC aircraft, the base also had F-5-L, HS, and N-9 Squadrons, as well as dirigibles, free balloon, and kite balloons. NAS Rockaway was also used as an advanced training facility for Navy aviators.

http://www.oocities.org/fort_tilden/rnas.html

Curtiss R-9's were also stationed at this base.

http://www.oocities.org/fort_tilden/rnasaircraft.html
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:21 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:27 PM   #23
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It sounds like you've dug up all the references I would likely have found. Nice job.

All of this does point out how big the effort was to develop aircraft during the first twenty or 30 years after the Wright brothers. One other illustration of that is the fact that the American Propeller Company manufactured over 25,000 wooden propellers before the end of WW1. Other manufacturers, like Westmoore, had impressive production numbers as well.
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:47 PM   #24
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Early Aviation on Nantucket
By Captain John Lacouture

Complete article...

http://www.nha.org/library/hn/HN-fall92-aviation.htm


Section related to the R-9

A year after World War I was declared, the first hydroplanes arrived, unannounced, on what is now Childrens Beach

Nantucket's aviation history begins during World War 1. On April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson declared war on Germany. At the time aviation was in its infancy, but the United States planned to carry on the war in the air on a grand scale. Naval aviation was assigned to overcome the German submarine threat to our control of the sea, both off our coasts and between North America and Europe. A string of air bases was located from the Panama Canal to Massachusetts to provide Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) escort for shipping and to conduct searches for German U-boats. Of necessity, all escorting was done during daylight hours, since night flying in those days was strictly an emergency operation.

Naval Air Station Chatham, the most northern of the bases, was commissioned onjanuary 6, 1918, to convoy shipping from Nantucket South Shoals Lightship to Cape Ann and to patrol the waters south to the western limit of Georges Bank shoals and to the western tip of Martha's Vineyard. This would protect the large amount of shipping entering and leaving the ports of Boston and New York. It was inevitable, therefore, that the first plane to land at Nantucket would fly out of Chatham.

Early in March Chatham received its first hydroplane. After assembly and engine tests the aircraft, an R-9, made the first flight from the new station on March 25,1918. The R-9 was a Curtiss twin-float, single-engine biplane with a crew of two. A Lewis machine gun was mounted aft of the rear cockpit and bomb racks capable of holding small bombs were mounted underneath or on the side of the fuselage. The plane, which weighed 4200 pounds loaded, was powered by a Curtiss V-2 200-horsepower engine and could attain a maximum ceiling of 9,100 feet and a maximum speed of 82 miles per hour.

Homing pigeons were carried on all flights so that messages could be sent in case the enemy should be contacted or the pilot should have to set the plane down at sea. In those early days of aviation engines were very unreliable, and none of the planes were equipped with radio communication. One World War I pilot out of Chatham told the story of sighting a submarine, of leaning over the side of the plane to throw a bomb, and of seeing it bounce off the sub without exploding. For the week of April 6, 1918, Naval Air Station Chatham reported to the Chief of Naval Operations: six R-9 seaplanes assigned and twenty-five flights made.

The first hydroplanes to arrive at Nantucket were unannounced. On April 13, J. Franklin Chase, then age nine, was standing with some men on the catboat Lillian's pier on the north side of Steamboat Wharf. He vividly recalls the occasion. He heard an unfamiliar sound, approaching from a long way out. Suddenly he pointed and shouted, "Here come two airplanes!" (He swears there were two, although the Inquirer and Mirror pictured only one at the shore.) Near him an old fisherman growled, "Looks like sea gulls to me," whereupon Franklin asked, "Since when do sea gulls make that noise?" Just then the two R-9s from Chatham flew in over what is now Children's Beach. The men stopped laughing and agreed that "The boy had been right." The seaplanes landed to the south just off Commercial Wharf. One taxied around and then took off again; the other taxied in to South Beach (where the Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium is now) and remained for a while to allow all the curious to get a close-up look and the I&M photographer to get his picture.

The next time seaplanes came to Nantucket, Chatham had notified the town in advance that they would be landing in the harbor on April 17. The schools declared a holiday, and all of the children, along with most of Nantucket, congregated on Brant Point to watch the arrival of the four R-9s. They saw the last one spin into the shallow waters of the Coatue flats. For most observers, it would be their first viewing of such aircraft.

Starting in June 1918 the Curtiss-designed HS-16 and HS-2L seaplanes built by Boeing began arriving in large numbers at Chatham and soon became the standard patrol and hauling flying boats of the Navy. Powered by a Liberty 360-horsepower pusher engine, they could obtain a maximum altitude of 11,000 feet and a maximum speed of 88 m.p.h. They had a midship cockpit that could hold two persons and a forward cockpit that could accommodate one person. Initially they all carried a Lewis machine gun and, after the first of August, the large Davis non-recoil, six-pounder gun. They also carried two MK IV bombs containing 120 pounds of TNT, but like the early torpedoes of World War II, about 80% of the bombs failed to detonate.

By July Chatham was making as many as twenty flights a day. During this period wrecks and engine failure were common. On several occasions Nantucket boats came across planes from Chatham downed at sea and towed them back into port. The Inquirer and Mirror reported that on June 8, 1918, a Navy seaplane landed at Quidnet barrier beach. The plane, with two pilots on board, was lost in the fog, which had set in since they took off. They had been flying for several hours and had no idea where they were. When told that they were on Nantucket by locals who then directed them to Chatham, they were much relieved and took off on a proper course. By now Chatham was one of the Navy's largest air stations with seventy-five officers, four-hundred-fifty men, eighteen seaplanes, a couple of kite balloons, and two blimps built by Goodyear and Goodrich.

After World War I ended on November 11, 1918, and winter weather set in, the tempo of flying at Chatham was greatly reduced—a fact of which Nantucketers were well aware. By May 1920 the Naval Air Station Chatham was deactivated, but not without first sending out ten planes on February 25, 1919, to welcome President Wilson aboard the S.S. George Washington on his return from the first session of the Versailles Peace Treaty Conference.
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #25
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http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww1/o/1461/3

http://wpalette.com/en/plane_models/...iltered-planes
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Old 11-03-2015, 03:08 PM   #26
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Naval base records...

http://www.massaerohistory.org/Naval...1915-1920.html

Chatham- NAS Chatham: 1918-1920
Lat/Long 41 42 58.06 N, 69 58 01.74 W

On August 22, 1917 construction started on 36 acre Nickerson Neck site in North Chatham for this U.S.N. coastal patrol base to protect the sea lanes from Long Island to Maine from German U-Boats. Designed for exclusively Navy airships, seaplanes and flying boats it was an important link in the defense of the United Stated from an attack by sea and was key in protecting our coast and our convoy routes to our Allies overseas. Chatham was placed in commission on January 6, 1918. The base had 13 buildings including two large hangars: a dirigible hangar and seaplane hangar. There were no provisions for runways or for accommodating land aircraft.

The first two aircraft shipped to Chatham arrived in late January. These were two of the three Burgess Dunne flying wing seaplanes the Navy had purchased in 1914. These obsolete seaplanes were crated when received and were unfit for assembly and scrapped. The first four, state of the art, Curtiss R-9 seaplanes arrived in March 1918; four more arrived in April and the last four R-9s were received in May. The next aircraft complement were four Curtiss HS-1Ls delivered by rail in June. These aircraft were capable of covering a broader offshore search area, capable of four hour patrols at their cruising speed. The third aviation component at Chatham was the two B-class airships that arrived in crates by rail in March. They were assembled their ground crews, joined by their flight crews in May, and the airships made their first flight over Massachusetts Bay on May 22, 1918.

NAS Chatham had the distinction of responding to the first direct attack of the United States mainland by Germany. The U-156 surfaced off Orleans on Sunday July 21, 1918 to attack a transiting tugboat and barges heading south along the Cape Cod shore. The U-Boat set the tug on fire and sank the four barges in tow. Shells, from the U-156 which was firing at these surface targets, in a number of instances landed on the Orleans beaches. There were no causalities on the beach but the tugboat crewmen were slightly wounded in the attack were able to reach the shore. NAS Chatham was notified 19 minutes after the attack started and had only three aircraft available to respond to the attack. Only two were serviceable for flight a HL-1L flying boat and an R-9 seaplane, both took off to attack the U-156. Both aircraft aggressively attacked with Mark IV bombs at low and medium altitudes but unfortunately none of the bombs detonated due to chronically defective bomb fuses. The U-156 submerged after their attack and headed north looking for additional targets The bomb fuses were finally fixed by Navy ordinance specialists and shipped to operational units a few days after the failure of the attack on the U-156.

NAS Chatham was operational up to the end of WW1 and postwar it continued to training aviators and enlisted aviation specialists. It also, as the only major New England Naval air station, made public relations exhibition flights, supported a major Navy New England recruiting drive, participated in special civic events and serviced transient Navy aircraft and crews. This included repair work on the Curtiss NC- 4 flying boat on the first trans-Atlantic flight in 1919. NAS Chatham was placed in non operating status on May 15, 1920 and the base was finally closed on December 31, 1922. The U.S. Government held on to the property until it was finally sold at auction to private individuals on June 16, 1948.


___________________________________________


From the Office of Naval Aviation (beginning November 1917) and its successors. I came across this in the August 5, 1918 letter:
Quote:
On July 19th two seaplanes from this station [Montauk] passed over where the U.S.S. San Diego sank before the crew had been picked up. . . . Seaplanes afterwards sighted an object which was [e]ither a submarine or a whale near Coast Guard Station No. 78. Two other seaplanes, A-952 and A-922, while patrolling in the same district saw several submarine chasers and one destroyer setting off depth charges. The pilot of A-922 saw some object underneath the water which he believed to be a submarine. He directed the attention of the chasers to it and they afterward exploded depth charges near the place he indicated.

A-922 and A-952 fall in the range of R-9

http://www.aerofiles.com/_curtx.html

R-9 (Model 2A) 1917 = USN bomber version of R-6 (or R-3?), with pilot controls moved to the friont seat. POP: 10 to USN [A883/887, A901/905], which were transferred to Army in 1918 [AS39033/39042].

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Old 11-03-2015, 03:33 PM   #27
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Orleans


The Attack on Orleans was a naval and air action during World War I which took place on 21 July 1918. A German U-boat opened fire on the American town of Orleans, Massachusetts, and several merchant vessels nearby. A tugboat was sunk, but shells fired in the direction of the town landed harmlessly in a marsh and on a beach.

On the morning of 21 July 1918 – during the last year of the First World War – the German submarine U-156, Captained by Richard Feldt, surfaced three miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and began to shell the tugboat "Perth Amboy" and the four barges in her tow. A handful of the shells fired by the U-boat’s two deck guns struck Nauset Beach, giving the town of Orleans the distinction of being the first, and only, spot in the United States to receive fire from the enemy during the First World War.

Coming to Cape Cod’s defense was the United States Life-Saving Service and the fledgling air arm of the United States Navy. The lifesavers, who were based at Station No. 40, launched a surfboat under heavy enemy shellfire and rowed in the direction of the thirty-two sailors trapped aboard the tug and barges. Meanwhile, HS-1L flying boats and R-9 seaplanes were dispatched from the Chatham Naval Air Station and dive-bombed the enemy raider with payloads of TNT. It was the first time in history that American aviators engaged an enemy vessel in the western Atlantic.

Today, a sign celebrates the historic engagement above the beach. It reads:

"Three miles offshore, in the direction of the arrow, was the scene of attack of a German submarine on a tug and barges July 21, 1918. Several shells struck the beach. This is the only section of the United States’ coast shelled by the enemy during World War I."


http://www.historypressblog.net/atta...d-on-cape-cod/

http://www.attackonorleans.com/



Captain Phillip Eaton, the commander of the Chatham Naval Air Station. United States Coast Guard.

Captain Eaton knew his station was short on planes so he decided to take matters into his own hands. Forty-five minutes after the U-156’s attack began, Captain Eaton took off in an R-9 seaplane in an effort to personally sink the German raider.



This could be a R6L or a R9...

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Old 11-05-2015, 06:04 AM   #28
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A note to thank you for publishing here all your research. You have done a superb job!

With kind regards,

Bob
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:13 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Gardner View Post
A note to thank you for publishing here all your research. You have done a superb job!

With kind regards,

Bob
Thank you.

I just noticed another R9 prop on eBay that just sold in Feburary 2017.

It sold for $5,500.00

A few details on the listing....

THIS IS AN ENORMOUS, RARE & ANTIQUE LATE WWI WOODEN AIRPLANE PROPELLER - CURTISS R9, LENGTH 114"

This a highly collectible item.

The propeller is gorgeous, really beautiful and very solid.

It will add an extremely unique atmosphere wherever it will be located.

Length 9' 6" (almost 290 cm)
Hub diameter approximately 11"
Hub bore approximately 3"
8 holes.
"Westmoore Propeller" decals.
Stamping:
C10. V. 2
C. P. 11612
R. H.
Another stamping:
05166
R 9

I am not sure how long the listing will last but here is the link...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-ANTIQUE...p2047675.l2557
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:22 PM   #30
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Wow!

I sold one exactly like it (this one) to someone with a famous last name about 5 years ago for $3400. Bob and I have both been predicting for years that as we approached the 100 year anniversary of WW1 people would start recognizing the rarity of props from this era and values would reflect that. And this particular model is not especially rare or unusual. I've owned two of them and have seen quite a few others.
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