Flight, March 1922
THE CURTISS TWIN-ENGINED TORPEDO SEAPLANE
A Cantilever Monoplane of Novel Design
THE Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation of Garden City, L.I., U.S.A., has just completed a very interesting type of torpedo 'plane known as the Curtiss
C.T. Through the courtesy of our American contemporary Aviation, we are able to give our readers the following brief particulars and illustrations of this machine. It is, perhaps, one of the most advanced designs yet produced in the "States," and, judging from general appearances, it certainly seems to be a "business proposition."
This machine has been built for the U.S. Navy, and was developed by the engineers of the Curtiss Co. working under the supervision of the Naval Bureau of Aeronautics. The problem before the designers was to develop a machine large enough to carry a full-size torpedo, yet be able to manoeuvre quickly and accurately around a hostile fleet, and find without detection the proper position for launching the torpedo. Unlike the big bombing 'planes, which drop their bombs from a great height, when they are more or less free from antiaircraft fire, the torpedo 'plane must deliver its projectile from within a few feet of surface of the water. Therefore, it is essential that the machine be as inconspicuous as possible, and in this respect it is claimed for the C.T. seaplane that, owing to its distinctive design, it more nearly meets these requirements than most other aircraft, for at a distance of about two miles it is said to be practically invisible.
The Curtiss C.T. is a cantilever monoplane with its two engines mounted practically in the wings. These engines, which are Curtiss CD.12 of 385 h.p. each (described in FLIGHT for Jan. 5 last), are installed in small nacelles projecting forward but slightly beyond the leading edge, located on either side of a main central nacelle on the centre section of the wings. The pilot, gunner and bomber are located in the central nacelle. Cooling is by two Lamblin radiators mounted under the engine nacelles below the wing. The engine instruments are mounted on the side of the nacelle in plain view of the pilot. Wood construction is used practically throughout, but in future models it is expected that metal construction will be employed.
The wings are covered with fabric, and taper both in chord and camber from root to tip. They have a span of 65 ft., and the chord at the root is 16 ft. when the maximum thickness is 30 ins. - giving a maximum wing depth of 15.6 per cent. The under-carriage consists of two long floats, one under each engine; they are sufficiently far apart to obviate the need for wing-tip floats, whilst their length likewise dispenses with tail floats.
The empennage is supported on outrigger booms, one of a pair running from the rear end of the float and the other from the rear of the engine nacelle - the pairs being parallel. There are two vertical fins and two balanced rudders, and a one-piece balanced elevator. The rudders and fins are directly in the slipstream of the airscrews, and the rudder control is rather interesting. There is only one control horn on each rudder, in the space between the latter. The tips of the balanced portions are connected together by a wire, so that a pull on one control horn is transmitted via this wire to the other rudder.
This machine has a high speed of 112 m.p.h., and with one engine running it loses only about 100 ft. per minute. It is expected that with the metal construction the machine will be able to fly level on one engine. The useful load is about 3,800 lbs., consisting of fuel, oil, crew, and a standard torpedo or bomb load.
There are several very ingenious "gadgets" on this machine, amongst which may be mentioned the stands for the mechanics when working on the engines. These are "shelves" that pull in and out of the wing on each side of the engine nacelles. Hand grips on the sides of the central nacelle and steps on the under-carriage struts provide easy access and exit.