P.Bowers Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947 (Putnam)
Model 26 - Orenco D
In 1918, the Army bought four examples of an experimental fighter developed by the Ordnance Engineering Co (Orenco) of Baldwin, NY. This design, Orenco's Model D, proved desirable as a production model for the postwar Air Service, so the Army, which owned the design under prevailing policies, invited bids from the industry for a lot of 50. Curtiss won the order; Orenco was unable to sell other designs and soon shut down.
The Orenco D, modified only slightly by Curtiss to have a longer upper wing and horn-balanced ailerons, was an all-wood single-seater featuring a ply-covered fuselage and the American version of the 300 hp French Hispano-Suiza engine built by Wright as its Model H. It was, in fact, the only single-seat fighter with plywood fuselage ever to serve in the Army. Some were diverted to test work with French Lamblin 'Pineapple' radiators and turbo-superchargers, but the nose radiator installation of the prototypes was standard.
Single-seat Pursuit. 300 hp Wright-Hispano H.
Span 33 ft (10.05 m); length 21 ft 51 in (6.54 m); height 8 ft 4 in (2,53 m); wing area 273 sq ft (25,36 sq m).
Empty weight 1,908 Ib (865 kg); gross weight 2,820 Ib (1,279 kg).
Maximum speed 139 mph (223.69 km/h); cruising speed 133 mph (214 km/h); climb 1,140
ft/min (5,79 m/sec); service ceiling 12,450 ft (3,795 m); range 340 miles (547 km).
Armament - two .30-in Browning machine-guns.
US Army serial numbers: 40107/40110 (Orenco), 63281/63330 (Curtiss)
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
ORDNANCE ENGINEERING (ORENCO) TYPE D USA
Towards the end of 1918, the Ordnance Engineering Corporation offered a new single-seat fighter designed around the 300 hp Hispano-Suiza H eight-cylinder water-cooled engine, the Type D, receiving an order for four aircraft. A two-bay equi-span staggered biplane of wooden construction with an armament of two 0.3-in (7,62-mm) guns, the first Type D was completed in January 1919 (and shortly thereafter the company adopted the acronym Orenco). Tested by what had by then become known as the Air Service, the Type D received a glowing commendation, but Curtiss submitted the winning bid for the production of a series of 50 aircraft, for which various modifications were introduced. The parent company further developed the design as the Type D2 with unequal-span wings of single-bay configuration, three being ordered by the Air Service as PW-3s. Demonstrating structural weaknesses during ground trials, these were declared unsafe and were not flown. The following data relate to the Orenco-built Type D prototypes.
Max speed, 147 mph (237 km/h) at sea level.
Time to 5,0 ft (1525 m), 4.3 min.
Range, 275 mis (442 km).
Empty weight, 1,666 lb (756 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,432 lb (1103 kg).
Span, 30 ft 0 in (9,14 m).
Length, 21 ft 6 in (6,55 m).
Height, 8 ft 3 in (2,52 m).
Wing area, 261 sqft (24,25 m2).
CURTISS-ORENCO D USA
The first single-seat fighter of indigenous US design to achieve production status, the Model D was conceived around the 300 hp Hispano-Suiza H eight-cylinder water-cooled engine. The first of four prototypes built by the Ordnance Engineering Corporation (Orenco) was completed in January 1919. Curtiss was assigned a production contract for 50 aircraft and undertook some redesign. This included the introduction of dihedral and overhanging, balanced ailerons, and revision of the engine installation. Of wooden construction with ply-covered fuselage and fabric-covered wings, the Curtiss-built Model D utilised a 330 hp Wright-built derivative of the French engine and carried an armament of two 0.3-in (7,62-mm) machine guns, deliveries commencing in August 1921. One Model D was experimentally fitted with French Lamblin radiators attached to the fuselage sides, and another was fitted with a turbo-supercharger for high altitude trials.
Max speed, 139 mph (224 km/h) at sea level, 136 mph (219 km/h) at 6,500 ft (1980 m).
Climb, 1,140 ft/min (5.8 m/sec).
Endurance, 2.5 hrs.
Empty weight, 1,908 lb (865 kg).
Loaded weight, 2,820 lb (1279 kg).
Span, 32 ft 11 5/8 in (10,05 m).
Length, 21 ft 5 1/2 in (6,54 m).
Height, 8 ft 4 in (2,54 m).
Wing area, 273 sq ft (25,36 m2).