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Curtiss H.16 Large America / F-5-L

Страна: США

Год: 1917

Curtiss - H.12 Large America - 1917 - США<– –>Curtiss - HS - 1917 - США


P.Bowers Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947 (Putnam)


H-16 (Model 6C) - The H-16 was the final model in the Curtiss H-boat line and was built in greater quantities than any or the other twin-engined Curtiss flying-boats.
  It was a logical development of the H-12 and was originally intended to use the 200 hp Curtiss V-X-X engine. However, the Liberty became available before the first H-16 was completed so all 124 H-16 deliveries to the US Navy were made with the 360 hp low-compression Liberty. These were replaced by 400 hp Liberty 12As in postwar years. The sixty British versions were shipped without engines and were fitted with 345 hp Rolls-Royce Eagles on arrival in the United Kingdom.
  In addition to 184 built by Curtiss, 150 H-16s were built at the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia. Originally, the Navy-built models were to be identified as Navy Model C, but all were operated as H-16s. The first Curtiss-built H-16 was launched on 22 June, 1918, while the first Navy-built model had come out of the factory on 27 March. H-16s were shipped overseas to US bases in Britain in 1918; H-16s remained in postwar service with the F-5Ls until May 1930. Prices for Navy-built H-16s ranged from $55,547 less engines for the first example down to $21,680 apiece for the last thirty.
  Because of their great similarity, identification problems between the H-16 and the F-5L were inevitable. The distinctive features of the H-16 were originally the unbalanced ailerons with significant sweep back toward the tips as on the America and H-12, and the enclosed pilots' cockpit. The rudder was unbalanced, but could not be distinguished from early F-5L outlines because the balance area of the F-5L rudder was below the horizontal tail at that time. In postwar years, some H-16s were fitted with F-5L ailerons, had the pilots' enclosure removed, and were given added balanced area to the top or the rudder, further complicating the identity problem.
  US Navy serial numbers: (Curtiss) A784/799 (16), A818/867 (50), A1030/1048 (19), A4039/4078 (40). (NAF) A1049/1098 (50), A3459/3558 (100).
  RAF serial numbers: N4890/4949 (60) (4950/4999 cancelled).

H-16-1 - One H-16 had its engines turned around and was completed as a pusher. No advantage accrued; the adaptation proved to be excessively tail-heavy.

H-16-2 - A second pusher H-16 (A839) was produced by Curtiss with more consideration for the change of balance. Wings of slightly increased span were swept back 5 1/2 degrees. Straight-chord ailerons used with F-5L-type horn balance brought the revised span to 109 ft 7 in (33,27 m). The increased wing area required additional rudder area in the form of two auxiliary rudders mounted on the tailplane.

H-16
  Patrol-bomber flying-boat. Four crew.
  Two 400 hp Liberty 12A.
  Span 95 ft 0 3/4 in (28,97 m); length 46 ft 1 1/2 in (14,05 m); height 17 ft 8t in (5,4 m); wing area 1.164 sq ft (108,13 sq m).
  Empty weight 7,400 lb (3.356,58 kg); gross weight 10,900 lb (4.944,15 kg).
  Maximum speed 95 mph (152,88 km/h); climb 4,700 ft (1,432 m) in 10 min; service ceiling 9,950 ft (3.03) m): range 378 miles (608 km).
  Armament 5-6 flexible 0.30-in Lewis machine-guns, four 230 lb (104 kg) bombs.


Model F-5L

  Although it clearly showed its ancestry in earlier Curtiss twin-engined flying-boats, the F-5L did not carry a Curtiss designation. Actually, it was not even a Curtiss design; it was one of several established European models chosen for production in the United States in 1917.
  The F-5L evolved from the original America of 1914 after Lt Porte, one of its designers, returned to England after the war began. For the Royal Naval Air Service he developed improved versions of the America, the several H-boats called Small Americas, and the H-12 Large America that Curtiss supplied to the RNAS. The first of the production British-built developments was the F.2, the F standing for the government aircraft plant at Felixstowe.
  The wings, empennage, and powerplant arrangement of the British F-boats were essentially Curtiss; Porte's principal contribution to the design was an improved hull. Porte's F.5 model was a parallel design to Curtiss's H-16. While the British F.5s used 345 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle engines, the American versions, redesigned to American standards by the US Navy, were built with Liberties, hence the letter L in the designation. The principal recognition points between the F-5L and the improved Liberty-engined H-16 was the horn-balanced parallel-chord aileron and balanced rudder of the former, and its noticeably different hull lines and open cockpits instead of the enclosed cabin of the H-16. Although the F-5L design belonged to the US Government, its well-known Curtiss ancestry, plus the fact that some were built by Curtiss, has caused it to be widely regarded as a Curtiss. Curtiss built sixty F-5Ls, Canadian Aeroplanes Ltd built thirty, and the US Naval Aircraft Factory built 138. After the war, redesigned vertical tail surfaces were introduced by the Navy on the two of the last three Navy-built F-5Ls which were redesignated F-6. These new tails were then retrofitted to all F-5Ls in service.
  When the Navy adopted an aircraft designation system in 1922, aircraft already in service retained their original designations but the F-5Ls unofficially became PN-5 (P for Patrol, N for Navy, regardless of actual manufacturer). Two F-5L hulls were fitted with entirely new wings and 525 hp geared Wright T-2 engines in 1923 and became PN-7s. Duplicate models with the hull built of metal instead of wood were PN-8s. Further Navy-designed variants continued up to PN-12, with production versions of the PN-12 being built by Martin as PM-1 and -2, Douglas as PO-1, Keystone as PK-1, and Hall as PH-1, -2, and -3 in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Halls served into 1943 to carry the direct descendants of the America through two World Wars.
  Early in 1919 F-5L A3864 was modified by the Navy to a tandem-engine design to test the concept of one tractor and one pusher engine in a single nacelle for possible modification of the existing NC-1 and NC-2 three-engined flying-boats. This variant survived to March 1925.
  A number of surplus F-5Ls were converted to 16/20-passenger transports by several overwater airlines in the 1920-24 era. Postwar price direct from the Navy was $12,400 while new prices for Navy-built F-5Ls ranged from $56,099 less engines for the first to $20,495 for the last.

F-5L
  Patrol flying-boat. Four crew.
  Two 400 hp Liberty 12A.
  Span 103 ft 9 1/3 in (31,62 m); length 49 ft 3 3/4 in (15,03 m); height 18 ft 9 1/4 in (5,72 m); wing area 1,397 sq ft (129,78 sq m).
  Empty weight 8,720 lb (3.955,3 kg); gross weight 13,600 lb (6.168,85 kg).
  Maximum speed 90 mph (144,83 km/h); climb to 2,200 ft (670 m) 10 min; service ceiling 5,500 ft (1,676 m); range 830 miles (1,335 km).
  Armament - 6-8 flexible 30-in machine-guns, four 230 Ib (104 kg) bombs.
  Serial numbers: Canadian Aeroplanes - A3333/3362 (30); Naval Aircraft Factory A3559/4035, 4038 (343 of 480 cancelled); Curtiss - A4281/4340 (60); Naval Aircraft Factory F-6L - A4036,4037.


G.Swanborough, P.Bowers United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911 (Putnam)


Curtiss H-12, H-16

<...>
  A further improved model was introduced early in 1917 as the H-16, still powered with the 200 hp V-X-X. Many were sold to Britain in knockdown condition, still as Large Americas. They were then assembled and test flown in England, fitted with British engines. Commander Porte of the Royal Navy, who had assisted in the design of the original America, developed an improved hull design for the H-16, and the British versions were built at RNAS Felixstowe as F.2, F.3 and F.5.
  By the time the US Navy became interested in production of the H-16, the Liberty engine was in the offing and was specified for the Navy's H-16s. However, in spite of the engine change there was no need to designate the production version as H-16L because there were no Curtiss-powered Navy models to require distinction. Because of the commitment of most of its production facilities to other war-time models, Curtiss could not meet the Navy's demand for H-16s, so the Navy undertook H-16 manufacture on its own at the Naval Aircraft Factory. This version was originally designated Navy Model C, as the third design built by Navy shops. This was the first aeroplane built by the new Naval Aircraft Factory, and the first example was completed on March 27, 1918. The original Curtiss designation was finally used.
  In continuing attempts to improve the design, Curtiss built one H-16 with the engines turned around to drive pusher propellers. Because the engines had to be moved aft to get the propellers behind the wing, it became necessary to sweep the wings back slightly to relocate the centre of lift to match the new centre of gravity position. The Navy built 150 H-16s, and Curtiss built 124 for the Navy, some of which remained in service until 1928.

TECHNICAL DATA (H-16)
  Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co, Inc, Garden City, LI and Buffalo, NY; and Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  Type: Patrol/bomber flying-boat.
  Accommodation: Crew of four.
  Power plant: Two 400 hp Liberty 12s.
  Dimensions: Span, 95 ft 0 3/4 in; length, 46 ft 1 1/2 in; height, 17 ft 8 5/8 in; wing area, 1,164 sq ft.
  Weights: Empty, 7,400 lb; gross, 10,900 lb.
  Performance: Max speed, 95 mph at sea level; initial climb, 10 min to 4,700 ft, service ceiling, 9,950 ft; range, 378 st miles.
  Armament: Five-six flexible 0.30-in Lewis machine guns. Four 230 lb bombs.
  Serial numbers:
   H-16 (Curtiss): A784-A799; A818-A867; A1030-A1048; M039-M078.
   H-16 (NAF): A1049-A1098; A3459-A3558.


Curtiss F-5L

  Production of the F-5L in 1918 put Curtiss in the odd position of building an improved foreign version of one of its own designs. A number of Curtiss H-12s and H-16s, developed from the original America flying-boat of 1914, had been sold to Britain in 1915-16. These designs had been improved upon by the Royal Naval Air Station at Felixstowe, and were put into large-scale production as F (for Felixstowe) -2, -3 and -5, powered with British engines. The wings and tail were essentially Curtiss, but the major improvement was in hull design, which permitted quicker take-off under heavy load and stood up better on the surface of the rough North Sea.
  Although Curtiss was producing later versions of the H-16, roughly equivalent to the British F-3, late in 1917, the Navy decided to adapt the F-5 to American manufacture and power it with the new Liberty engine. In addition to the Naval Aircraft Factory and Canadian Aeroplanes, Ltd, Curtiss was selected as a manufacturer and built 60. Canada built 30 and the NAF built 137, the last two of which were completed as improved versions, F-6L.
  The principal feature distinguishing the F-5L from the Liberty-powered H-16 was the use of ailerons with parallel leading and trailing edges instead of the distinctively tapered trailing edges of those on the earlier boats. Balance area was also added to the F-5L rudder, but this area was set into the fin beneath the horizontal tail and was not noticeable. After the war all the F-5Ls in service were fitted with much larger vertical tails of entirely new design, which the Navy had developed on the two F-6Ls.
  The F-5L was considered to be a US Navy design rather than a Curtiss, and when the new designating system of 1921 was adopted, the F-5L was assigned the designation PN-5 while the F-6L became PN-6. However, in practice the new designations were not used for designs in production before adoption of the new system, and the F-5Ls were called such until their retirement in 1928. Improved versions, in which newer wings and engines were fitted to the basic F-5L hull, did use the new designations, starting with the PN-7.
  The wooden-hulled F-5Ls, along with the near-duplicate H-16s, remained the standard patrol boats of the Navy until replaced by production versions of the NAF PN-12 built by Douglas, Martin an Keystone in the late 1920s.

TECHNICAL DATA (F-5L)
  Manufacture: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co, Inc, Garden City, LI, and Buffalo, NY; Canadian Aeroplanes Ltd, Toronto; Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  Type: Patrol flying-boat.
  Accommodation: Crew of four.
  Power plant: Two 400 hp Liberty 12As.
  Dimensions: Span 103ft 9 1/4 in; length 49ft 3 3/4in; height, 18ft 9 3/4 in; wing area, 1,397 sq ft.
  Weights: Empty 8 720 lb; gross 13 600 lb.
  Performance: Max speed, 90 mph at sea level; initial climb, 2,200 ft in 10 min; service ceiling, 5,500 ft; range, 830 st miles.
  Armament: Six to eight flexible 0'30-in machine guns. Four 230 lb bombs.
  Serial numbers:
   F-5L (Canadian): A3333-A3362; A3363-A3382 (cancelled).
   F-5L (NAF): A3559-A4038 (of which 343 were cancelled).
   F-5L (Curtiss): A4281-A4340.
   F-6L (NAF): A4036-A4037.


O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)


Curtiss H.16 Large America

  The H.16 was an improved and enlarged version of the more famous H.12 and was delivered to Britain in 1918. It represented a notable advance on the H.12, in that it incorporated the stronger and more seaworthy Porte-type hull, thus bringing the American boats into line with their British counterparts, the Felixstowe series, whose design they had originally helped to inspire. The wheel had turned full circle.
  The initial Admiralty contract for H.16 flying-boats covered 15 aircraft, N4060 to 4074, fitted with twin 250 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle engines. This was followed by an additional contract for 110 aircraft, N4890 to 4999, but the end of the war saw the last 50 cancelled. The second batch of H.16s mounted twin 375 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle engines.
  H.16 Large Americas rivalled the Felixstowe boats in performance, but they figured less in records of the period and no particularly outstanding operations are associated with the type. On 31 October 1918 there were some 69 on charge with the RAF, but 39 of these were in store or with contractors. At about the same time another 50 or so H.16s were operated round British shores by the US Navy. The US Navy versions had twin 330 hp Liberty engines and were based at Killingholme. It is alleged that one of the American H.16s at Killingholme was actually looped by an over-exuberant pilot!

UNITS ALLOCATED
  H.16s served with No.228 Squadron at Great Yarmouth and Killingholme, No.230 Squadron (Felixstowe). No.238 Squadron (Cattewater) and No.257 Squadron (Dundee).

TECHNICAL DATA (CURTISS H.16)
  Description: Anti-submarine patrol flying-boat with a crew of four. Wooden structure with wood and fabric covering.
  Manufacturers: Curtiss Aeroplanes and Motors Corporation, Buffalo, Hammondsport, NY.
  Power Plant: Two 375 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII.
  Dimensions: Span. 95 ft. Length. 46 ft 1 1/2 in. Height, 17 ft 8 in. Wing area, 1,000 sq ft.
  Weights: Empty, 7,363 lb. Loaded. 10.670 lb.
  Performance: Maximum speed. 98 mph at 2,000 ft; 95 mph at 6,500 ft; 92 mph at 10,000 ft. Climb, 512 ft/min; 3.7 min to 2,000 ft; 14.6 min to 6,500 ft; 28 min to 10,000 ft. Endurance, 6 hr. Service ceiling, 12,500 ft.
  Armament: Twin Lewis machine-guns on ring mounting in bows and amidships. Provision for two further Lewis guns to fire through the side of the hull and for bombs mounted on racks beneath the wings.


Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919


CURTISS MODEL H.16A. FLYING BOAT.
  
Specification.
  
General Dimensions.
  Wing span. upper plane 96 ft. 6 5/8 in.
  Wing span, lower plane 68 ft. 11 3/8 in.
  Depth of wing chord 84 19/64 in.
  Gap between wings 96 9/16 in.
  Stagger None.
  Length of machine overall 40 ft. 1 15/32 in.
  Height of machine overall 17 ft 8 5/8 in.
  Angle of incidence 4 degrees.
  Dihedral angle 1 degree.
  Sweepback None.
  Wing curve R.A.F. No. 6.
  Horizontal stabilizer
   angle of incidence 2 degrees pos.
  
Areas.
  Wings, upper (without ailerons) 616.2 sq. ft.
  Wings, lower 443.1 sq. ft.
  Ailerons 131 sq.ft.
  Horizontal stabilizer 108 sq. ft.
  Vertical stabilizer 31.1 sq. ft.
  Elevators 58.4 sq. ft.
  Rudder 27.9 sq. ft.
  Non-skids 24 sq. ft.
  Total supporting surface 119.3 sq. ft
  Loading (weight carried per sq. ft.
   of supporting surface) 8.54 lbs.
  Loading (per r.h.p.) 15.42 lbs.
  
Weights.
  Net weight, machine empty 6,956 lbs.
  Gross weight, machine and load 10,172 lbs.
  Useful load 3,216 lbs.
   Fuel and oil 1,527 lbs.
   Crew 660 lbs.
   Useful load 1,029 lbs.
   Total 3,216 lbs.
  
Performance.
  Speed, max. (horizontal flight) 95 m.p.h.
  Speed, min. (horizontal flight) 55 m.p.h.
  Climbing speed 4,000 ft. in 10 mins.
  
Motor.
  Two Liberty 12-cylinder, Vee, four-stroke cycle. Water cooled.
  Horse power (each motor 330) 660
  Weight per rated h.p. 2.55
  Bore and stroke 5 in. x 7 in.
  Fuel consumption (both motors) 62.8 galls, per hour.
  Fuel tank capacity 300 galls.
  Oil capacity provided 10 galls.
  Fuel consumption per b.h.p. 0.57 lbs. per hour.
  Oil consumption per b.h.p. 0.03 lbs. per hour.
  
Propeller.
  Material - Wood.
  Diameter. - According to requirements of performance.
  Pitch. - According to requirements of performance.
  
Maximum Range.
  At economic speed, about 675 miles.
  
Shipping Data.
  Hull Box. - Dimensions: 44 ft. 9 in. x 11 ft. x 9 ft. 4 in. ; gross weight, 1,300 lbs.
  Panel Box. - Dimensions: 30 ft. 4 in. x 7 ft. 7 in. x 6 ft. 6 in.; gross weight, 4,850 lbs.
  Panel Box. - Dimensions: 21 ft. 2 in. x 7 ft. 5 in. X 3 ft. 6 in.; gross weight, 2,170 lbs.
  Engine Box.- Dimensions: 6 ft. 2 in. x 4 ft. 4 in. x 2 ft. 9 in.: gross weight, 1,645 lbs.


C.Owers The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 22)


The H-16

  The H-16 was the Felixstowe F.2A built by Curtiss and at the Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF). Despite being claimed as a Curtiss design, it was the Felixstowe boat modified to use Liberty engines and American construction methods.


C.Owers The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 23)


6. The America Flying Boats in Detail

Curtiss H-16

  As noted before the Curtiss H-16 was the Felixstowe F.2A built in the USA with Liberty engines. The H-16 was naturally selected to be the type that the USN would take into action from the stations that they were to establish in the UK. The Curtiss Co had a contract with the Admiralty for 75 H-16 boats without engines and with the USN for 34 with Liberty engines. The Bureau was “acting on the principle that we should interfere as little as possible with the British production, which should have priority.” The estimated production of the Austin Street plant was three per week. It was proposed that delivery between the Navy and Admiralty that the proportion of assignments of H-16 boats be one to two. As things turned out, the British did not utilise their H-16 boats as much as they intended as the first one delivered, N4060, was 500 lb. overweight and Porte’s examination concluded that they had increased weight little by little all along. The flying boat was found to be tail heavy on arrival and the after petrol tank on the port side was moved forward. “In this condition the machine is in balance.” N4060 was described as an antisubmarine and long reconnaissance machine in Report NM200. It underwent testing at Grain in May 1918. The observer had an “excellent view forward and the sighting and bomb releasing positions are good.” The cabin was provided with celluloid windows instead of triplex glass. The pilot’s view was so bad that the cabin was removed and replaced by an ordinary wind screen.
  The machine was slow to manoeuvre and the ailerons, as well as the rudder, were very heavy making the machine tiring to fly. Under the heading of directional stability it was stated that the rudder must be used with lateral control otherwise it caused “pawing.” The boat was easy to alight but the nose tended to rise out too much as the planning speed fell. The machine had to be modified before it could be considered ready for active service. The step required alteration, the fuel tanks had to be moved forward to overcome the tail heaviness, dual controls and the Second Pilot’s seat had to be installed, and balanced ailerons fitted.
  The Report on N4060 noted that there were four fuel tanks behind the pilot of 62 gallons each. They were operated on a pressure system using wind driven pumps to force the fuel to the 225 gallon gravity tank in the centre section. A 12 gallon oil tank was situated behind each engine. It took 15 minutes to get under way. Ease of starting was described as “good.”
  A Report in August noted that “F.2a Boat H-16 No. 4,060 (two Eagle VIII Rolls-Royce)” was presently having balanced ailerons, elevators and rudder fitted and was to undertake investigations of the slipstream near the tail. The same Report noted that N4892 was to undertake comparative trials with N4060. A Wright’s vertical fin balance was being fitted and “will do investigation of pressures of hull.”
  N4892 was tested with the Wright stabiliser. This device comprised two vertical surfaces hinged at their after edges on to one of the front struts of the flying boat. They were connected to the ailerons so that the movement of the ailerons displaced the vertical fins. The fins were to act as a balance device for the ailerons, and in addition any sideslip would put a load on the fins and cause them to move the ailerons so as to restore lateral balance.
  The device was flown on 21 November 1918, and found to be very sensitive. “As it seemed that the machine might take charge if any gusts were encountered, the pilot landed after a short flight.” The surfaces were reduced to a half the original area and tried again on the 30th by Capt Moore, and on 2 December by Maj Cooper. “The machine was flown for about quarter of an hour without the hands on the wheel and turns were made, more or less sideslipping taking place. The behaviour of the machine was unpleasant to feel and in gusty weather the device would be unstable.” It was considered that a machine such as the H-16 was not suited to the device “as the rudder has to be used a great deal in conjunction with the ailerons.”
  Britain ordered 125 H-16 boats from Curtiss; the sometimes quoted 185 figure includes 60 that were reserialled. On 31 October 1918, the RAF had 32 F.2A boats, 6 H-12 Converts and 69 H-16 boats on charge, all in the UK; none were at bases overseas. Of these 31 of the H-16 boats were in store.

USN H-16

  In July 1917 the Bureau of Construction and Repair of the USN (Bu C&R) was notified by their superintendent Constructor of Aircraft at the Curtiss Aeroplane Co, Buffalo, NY, that Curtiss were constructing a new flying boat, the H-16. The letter then goes on to describe the Porte method of construction and how the prototype overseas had performed entirely satisfactorily.
  US crews also flew British H-16 as well as F.2A boats. N4067 was delivered to the USN at Killingholme on 20 July 1918. Ens Benjamin Lee, USNRF, lost his life when this boat crashed in the River Humber during a delivery flight from Killingholme to Dundee on 28 October. Lt (jg) R.H. McCann, USNRF and Ens G.S. Hodges, USNRF, dove overboard under the burning wreckage from the rescue launch in their endeavours to rescue to seaplane’s crew. The saving of the second pilot, Ens J. Garrison, was solely due to their efforts. Ens Hodges brought an unconscious Garrison through the burning wreckage to the rescue boat, keeping him under water intermittently and with his own body protecting Garrison from the flames. Hodges suffered severe burns due to his actions. Lt McCann dove repeatedly in and about the wreckage and did not cease his efforts until all hope of rescue had passed.
  British H-16 boats N4062, N4067, N4068 and N4069 were used by the USN at NAS Killingholme.
  The Aviation Matters Progress Report for October 1918 noted that the Curtiss plant in Buffalo had completed its contract for 74 H-16 boats and production of the F-5-L would commence in November. The Curtiss Engineering Corporation plant at Garden City would continue to supply H-16 at about one per week. F-5-L boats were being supplied by the Canadian Aeroplanes Ltd at the rate of five per month and from the Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF) at about three per week.
  Many experiments were carried out on the USN H-16 boats during their service life. One, Bureau No. A-830, was built in an experimental pusher configuration with swept back wings.


H-16 Bureau Number Allocation
Bureau No. Number Contract Manufacturer Notes
A-784 to A-799 16 SOC-626 Wash CR- 121; SE-250; Bu-18 Curtiss A & M
A-818 to A-867 50 C-33181 CR-26; SE-258; Bu-18 Curtiss Eng
A-1031 to A-1048 18 C-33193 CR-184; SE-298; Bu-18 Curtiss A& M
A-1049 to A-1098 50 RNAF-Z-1 NAF
A3459 to A3558 100 RNAF-Z-1 NAF A3508 & A3582 used as spares, Norfolk.
A4039 to A4078 40 C-33193 CR-184; SE-336; Bu-18 Curtiss A & M


H-16 Serial Allocation
British Serials Number Contract Notes
N1890-N1949 60 AS6731 (BR50) Serials cancelled. Renumbered N4890-N4949.
N4060-N4074 15 N1387-1137W All delivered without engines.
N4890-N4999 110 AS6731 (BR50) From N4900 directly into store. All scrapped except N4902 and N4905 that were gifted to Canada. N4950 to N4999 cancelled.
Note: H-16 boats in the N4060 series were being delivered at the same time as those in the N4890 series.


Experimentation

<...>
  The “Stick Night Landing Device” was to give a positive signal to the pilot of the close approach of the surface of the water in time for the pilot to flatten out. A streamlined tapered shaft was mounted on a transverse shaft in the nose of the machine. The shaft could move in and out about a foot. When the spar was out of action it lay horizontally along the fin. In calm weather the device showed promise. A landing was made with the pilot keeping his eyes off the water. The signal to the pilot was considered not as distinct as it should have been. In bumpy weather the stick developed a violent lateral sway and this interfered with the accuracy of the warning and it looked as if the stick would eventually break off the shaft.
  Experiments are being tried with a stiffer shaft and a rounded stick instead of streamlined. A streamlined stick of larger dimensions and not so whippy can also be tried. A good deal of experiment and practice will be necessary, but it is hoped that a satisfactory method will be arrived at.
<...>


US F-5-L

  Like the F.2A/H-16 the F-5 was modified for production in the US. The dimensions were kept the same but the construction of the hull was changed and 330-hp Liberty engines were installed. Apart from an increase in size the F-5L was basically the same as the H-16 in that it had the same twin engine tractor layout, the same armament with standard 33 inch Scarff ring mounts in the front cockpit and at the aft gunner’s position on top of the hull. A Gallows mount was installed inside the rear hull doors. These were referred to as Outrigger Gun Mounts in USN service. The F-5-L was to be equipped with the Davis Gun in the USN. When fitted the mount for the 9-pdr Davis Gun was located on the nose of the boat held in place by steel tube braces. The F-5-L had 22 Lewis Gun ammunition racks, two Lewis Gun parts boxes, one set of racks for Davis Gun ammunition that held three rounds and two Very’s Pistol boxes. All this equipment was built into the hull.
  The first NAF F-5-L was launched on Sunday 14 July 1918. On the 15th Lt Col Porte, RAF, and Lt EE. McGill, RAF, flew the machine. Despite developing motor trouble after a short flight and the boat being hauled out of the water to receive a new motor, Porte reported that the perfectly balanced controls operated to his satisfaction.
  Canadian Airplane Company (CAC) obtained a contract to build the F-5-L. Their chief engineer, Ericson, went to UK to study the plans of the machine that was referred to in correspondence as a “bomber”.
  Due to the problem of obtaining plans the question arose of CAC making up its own wings. Mr Ward of the NAF stated he would prefer that the wings were made according to the NAF drawings and not their own design.
  The question of omitting ribs to the hull also came up - all experience at Felixstowe tended to show the necessity of transverse bracing in the hull. What was wanted was resiliency with lightness “and we obtain this with the use of ribs. When ribs are left out, the boat becomes too rigid, and in handling on trucks, the rigid bottom will fail. All experience at Felixstowe tends to show this.” All the CAC F-5-L boats were delivered and were apparently the same as the US produced examples.
  The Atlantic and Pacific Fleets operated the F-5-L as Airboats. They were to work with the fleet in reconnaissance, range the guns and record the fall of shot and develop communication from the air to ships. They were to overcome problems that would arise with respect to these matters and establish procedures for adoption by the Navy.
  These flying boats were to receive colourful schemes to enable them to be seen and identified in flight and on the water in the case of a forced alighting.
  Pensacola operated the F-5-L for training. The Bureau policy was to replace the H-16 when they came up for overhaul with F-5-L boats. On 18 January 1922, Pensacola reported that it had on the station:
  - 9 F-5-L (5 for use) and 7 H-16 boats.
  - With 2 F-5-L under repair and 2 F-5-L awaiting repair.
  The station wanted 12 F-5-L boats and in the interim asked permission to assemble for flying the following H-16 boats: A-857, A-859 and A-860 that were on the station, uncrated and stored as no F-5-L boats were available.
  On 19 July 1924 Pensacola reported that its complement of F-5-L boats was:
  Active 5
  Being assembled after major overhaul 7
  Undergoing repairs 7
  Awaiting repairs 8
  USN F-5-L A-3589 made an endurance record in April 1925 of 20 hrs 10 min while covering an estimated 1,250 miles in a closed circuit off Hampton Roads under Lt Cmdr Grow as pilot.
  The F-5-L was found to be excellent in the rain and sun of the tropics but their weak point was soaking. USN estimated that up to 1,000 lbs of water would be soaked into the hull. In the Pacific Fleet they were used as Liberty Boats carrying 12 to 14 men on leave parties and mail in 1919, carrying a total 1,500 passengers and 100 sacks of mail.
  An aircraft mechanic recorded that he “liked flying in the F-5-L flying boats better than any plane I ever flew in up until 1940...Flying in the F-5-L was sensational flying; as the saying goes; you were flying like a bird.”

F-5-L Serial Allocation
Bureau No. Number Contract Manufacturer Notes
A-3333 to A-3382 50 37211 CR493; SE818;Bu18 CAL A-3363 to A-3382 cancelled.
A-3559 to A-4035 480 RNAF-Z-5 NAF 343 cancelled at random: A3618 to A3658 A-3684 to A-3782 A-3801 toA-3858 A-3881 A-3883 to A-3835 A-3941 toA-4008 A-4014 to A-4035
A-4036 & A-4037 2 RNAF-Z-5 NAF F-6. NAF modification of F-5-L.
A-4038 1 RNAF-Z-5 NAF
A-4281 to A-4340 50 N3409 CR70;SE154; Bui9 Curtiss A & M
A-4470 to A-4819 350 N3935 CR99; SE236; Bul9 Curtiss
A-5259 to A-5458 200 RNAF-1 NAF Cancelled.
A-6557 to A-6559 2 Hampton Roads NAS Erected from spares & salvage.


Post-War

Canada

  Canada received eleven F.3 flying boats as part of the Imperial Gift of 1919. They were given civil registrations G-CYBT (N4016); G-CYDH (ex-N4009); G-CYDI (ex-N4010); G-CYDJ (ex-N4011); G-CYDQ(ex-N4014); G-CYEN (ex-N4015); G-CYEO (ex-N4181); and also N4012, N4013, N4178 and N4179 that did not receive civil registrations but were held as spares. A single Curtiss H-16 N4905 (G-CYEP) was included in the Gift but two ended up in Canada. The second was N4902 that was not registered and apparently used for spares. The US Government also gave the Canadians a number of Curtiss HS-2L flying boats that had operated from Nova Scotia during the war.
  The flying boats were used for summer patrols over areas where forest fires could break out. By 1922 all the Canadian aircraft were worn out and had not been reconditioned. The last F.3 was withdrawn in 1923, their replacement was the Vickers Vedette that was designed for Canadian conditions and built in Canada by Canadian Vickers at Montreal.

Argentina

  The Argentine Navy purchased eight F-5-L flying boats in 1921 that bore the serials B1 to B8. They were armed and entered service with the Escuela de Aviation Naval in 1922. With Dornier Wai flying boats they formed the first operational unit, the Escaudrdilla de Patrulleros, in 1922. In 1931 they were withdrawn for use as trainers, the last being written off in 1935.

Brazil

  Brazil also operated the F-5-L, 14 being acquired in 1923 and given serials 1 to 5, and 21 to 23, and later 311 to 316 and 321 to 326. They served until 1930.

Peru

  In 1920 the US Navy sent a mission to Peru that led to the established a seaplane base at Ancon with two Curtiss MF flying boats. After one of the MF boats crashed during a visit of the US Fleet to Peru in 1921, a twin engined flying boat was given to the Peruvian Navy. This boat is thought to have been a Curtiss H-16 and this aircraft had the shortest life of any in the Navy, crashing on 20 June 1921, after delivery the same day. Some sources state that this was an F-5-L, however research by Dan Hagedon noted that a “Flying boat N-16 arrived on board the SS Urubamba 13 February 1921, ex-U.S. Government. It crashed on its first flight on 20 June 1921.” It is thought that the N-16 is a misquote for an H-16. Peru’s Navy was to operate two F-5-L boats from 1920 to 1924 along with De Havilland D.H.9 bombers and Avro 504K trainers.


Журнал Flight


Flight, July 31, 1919.

U.S.A. NAVY F-5-L FLYING BOAT

  THE F-5-L boat seaplane is a twin-motored tractor biplane, having a total flying weight of nearly 7 tons, a cruising radius of 10 1/2 hours as a fighter, or 8 1/2 hours as a bomber. It carries a military load of over 1,400 lb., with a crew of four men. This machine is a formidable engine in naval war craft, and it is so designed that it may be quickly and efficiently made under war conditions.
  In the case of this machine the United States Navy, as did the Army, took a foreign design and modified it to meet American production methods. It is interesting to note, however, that in this particular case the English design had been based upon an American model, the large Curtiss flying-boat - the H 12 - which was the forerunner of both the H-16 and the F-5-L.
  The F-5-L is a somewhat larger machine than either the H-12 or the H-16, and is capable of carrying a greater useful load. It was originally developed at Felixstowe, and the name "F-5" was chosen to denote the English experimental seaplane factory at Felixstowe ("F"), and the model number design in machine ("5"). The United States Navy added the letter "L," indicating that, as built in U.S.A., it is driven by Liberty engines.
  The lines, overall dimensions and main constructional features were worked out in England, and an experimental plane was constructed there. The details with many modifications were worked out at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, to correspond to its production methods. The planes were then put into production at that and other factories, such changes from the first drawings being made as they were found necessary by tests.
  Fundamentally the plane is similar to the American Curtiss flying-boats - particularly the H-16 model. But in size and details it is quite different, being larger and better fitted to emergency production. For example, with few exceptions, the fittings are soft sheet steel, cut from flat patterns and bent to shape. This obviated the necessity of dies and drop forgings, which are particularly difficult to obtain under war conditions. The struts, likewise, are uniform sections, that is, not tapered, so that they can be shaped with a minimum of hand labour. Throughout, the parts are such that duplication is easy, production methods possible, and readily available equipment suitable.
  The most noticeable feature in the F-5-L is the degree to which the hull or boat has been streamlined. The hull cover sweeps aft, broken only by the cockpit openings. From an aerodynamic standpoint this is more efficient than the construction of the H-16, where a raised cabin is used. On this model, as on the H-16, the fin edges are continued aft, and join into the lower longeron, giving a much stronger and better streamline form. Another feature in the hull construction that is noteworthy is the use of veneer instead of linen doped and painted on the after hull sides. It was found in practice that the linen failed in heavy seas or on a bad landing, but this failure was obviated by the use of veneer.
  The specifications herewith will give some idea of the size and capacity of this seaplane. It will be noted that the lift, per square foot of surface is from 9.3 to 9.5 lb. per sq. and is somewhat greater than land practice.

Overall span (top plane) 103 ft. 9 1/4 ins.
Overall span (lower plane) 74 ft. 4 ins.
Overall length 49 ft. 3 11/16 ins.
Overall height 18 ft. 9 1/4 ins.
Hull beam 10 ft. 1 1/4 in.
Chord (H-12 curve) 8 ft.
Gap 8 ft. 10 1/2 ins.
Angle of incidence.. 3° 40'
Dihedral 1° 30'
Angle of incidence of tail 2° 30'

  Areas
Top plane
  (including ailerons) 848 sq. ft.
Lower plane 546 sq. ft.
Ailerons (two) 118 sq. ft.
Total of main planes 1,394 sq. ft.
Main plane fins 30 sq. ft.
Gross weight 13,659.5 lb.
Useful load
  (1,405 lb. military load) 5,224 lb.
Loading per sq. ft. 9,5
Power plant Two 330 h.p. Liberties.
Speed range 57-90 m.p.h.
Climb 2,600 ft./10 mins.

  With few exceptions, all large seaplanes have been previously built with unbalanced control surfaces. However, on the F-5-L both the ailerons and rudder are balanced. The purpose is, of course, to increase the controllability of the unit, and in the case of the aileron control the result is as anticipated. Differing from the usual control surface balance construction, the balance on these ailerons is cambered so that it has a positive lift. By this construction the ailerons tend to be more sensitive in their action and to operate with less difficulty and with less balance surface.
  The planing action is increased by the use of vents extending through the hull aft of the rear steps. Although the cabin top over the pilot's cockpit is eliminated, a certain amount of protection is afforded the pilot by small adjustable windshields.
  The whole lay-out of the machine is such that the duties of the crew may be most readily carried out. The observer's cockpit is in the nose of the machine, and from it the widest range of vision is possible. At the bow is mounted the bomb sight, and adjacent to it are the bomb-release pulls, ammunition racks, signal pistols, binoculars, etc. A machine-gun turret is mounted on the scarff-ring of the forward cockpit.
  The pilot's cockpit is just aft the observer's cockpit, and may be readily reached from it when the machine is in operation. The pilots are seated on comfortable seats, hinged on a bulkhead and attached to a transverse tube by means of a snap-catch that may be instantly released. This permits the observer to pass aft at will without disturbing the pilot.
  A wheel control of the dual type is used. It comprises a laminated ash yoke on which are mounted the two aileron wheels connected by an endless chain. An instrument-board, containing tachometers, altimeters, air-speed indicator, oil-pressure indicators, inclinometer, and pilot-directing bomb sight is mounted directly in front of the pilot.
  On the starboard side of the hull are the individual engine switches, ammeters and emergency switches, together with the circuit breakers. The two compasses are mounted at some distance apart, so that they cannot interfere with each other. One is on the deck and the other on the floor. All instruments are self-luminous, but instrument-board lights are provided. The spark controls are at the starboard side of the starboard pilot's seat, but the throttle controls are between the two pilots, so that either may operate them. Fire extinguishers are placed conveniently at each station, those in the pilot's cockpit being attached to the bulkhead beneath the seat. The wireless operator's station is on the starboard side, just aft the pilots. The equipment is mounted on a small veneer table, and used in conjunction with a telescopic mast that is carried in the stern. A celluloid window in the hull side provides necessary light. The mechanics' station is amidships by the petrol tanks and pumps, and their main duty is to see that the plane is "trimmed" by pumping petrol from the tanks alternately; to see that the engines do not overheat, and that all parts function properly. The water and oil thermometer are mounted on the sidewalk beam adjacent to the mechanics' station.
  Aft the mechanics' station, or wing section, is the rear gunner's cockpit. Three guns are accessible from this station, and it also provides a good point of observation or position for aerial photography. All machines are equipped with inter-communicating telephones, the receivers being incorporated in the helmets and connection effected by terminal boxes at each station. It is thus possible for all members of the crew to be in constant communication. In addition to the equipment indicated, the following are some of the miscellaneous items usually carried: tool kits, water buckets, range and running lights, pigeons, emergency rations, drinking water, medicine chest, sea anchor, chart board, mud anchor, anchor rope, heaving lines, signal lamp, binoculars, Very's pistol, ammunition, life jackets, and possibly electric warmers. Included also are the priming cans, drinking cups and usually several personal items. All this is exclusive of the ordnance equipment of bombs, machine guns, etc.
  Considering the size of the machine and the amount of material carried, the performance is quite remarkable. In fact, it compares very favourably with the performance of land planes having the same specifications and not hampered by the heavy boat construction. The time required to get the machine from the water varies with the wind velocity, but with a 15-mile wind and the plane fully loaded, from 30 to 40 sec. is required. The speed at take-off is about 47 knots on the air-speed indicator, and a machine of this design has made a climb of 4,200 ft. in 10 mins. A horizontal speed of from 85 to 90 m-p.h. is attained, but on patrol duty they are generally flown at a more economical speed, such as 70 m.p.h. When geared Libertys were tried out in one of these machines a speed of 102 m.p.h. was attained, but this was a special power-plant equipment. The engine revolutions are about 1,500, though this, of course, varies with the types of propeller used. At full speed the petrol consumption is about 65 galls, per hour, and the oil consumption about 2.6 galls, per hour. By throttling down the engine to 1,350 r.p.m., or to a speed of about 60 knots, the petrol consumption per hour is reduced to 44 galls., the oil consumption remaining the same. This gives a maximum cruising time of 10.6 hours with a light machine, or 8 1/2 hours fully loaded. The cruising time at full speed is 7.3 hours and 5.9 hours respectively.
  The advantages of operating at cruising speed are many, and it is at this speed that the plane is chiefly operated. Among the advantages are increased engine life, greater ease of control, longer cruising radius, less strain on plane parts, and time for more extended observation. When running at full speed, control is not particularly easy, though under normal conditions one pilot can operate the machine without difficulty. However, the reserve control is necessary to lift the machine from the water, and in cases of emergency, though not ordinarily used.
(To be concluded.)


Flight, August 7, 1919.

U.S.A. NAVY F-5-L FLYING BOAT
(Concluded from page 1026)

  THE hull is built up around four longerons, as is a land plane, and has in addition a keel and a planked V-bottom that is flared out to present more landing surface. The flared out portions are called fins, and in this place are an integral part of the hull structure, and are continued aft, and streamline into the hull sides. This is not the case in many previous seaplanes, namely, the H-12 and the HS-1 and 2, where the fins are stopped abruptly about one-third the hull length aft from the bow, and the advantage is increased strength and better streamline form.
  Before entering into a detailed description of the hull construction, it may be well to define some of the terms used. The following defines them roughly, and is the order in which they enter the hull construction :-
  Keelson. - A wide thin plank extending from near the bow to the stern, above the keel.
  Keel. - The bottom-most longitudinal member forming the backbone of the hull.
  Floor Frames. - The transverse planks jointed at right angles to the keelson.
  Longerons. - All longitudinal members extending from the bow to the stern with the exception of the keel.
  Fin Edges. - The two outside longitudinals of the fins.
  Stringers. - The longitudinal strips connecting the floor frames on the bottom and the strips on the fins.
  Bulkheads. - All transverse veneer structures dividing the hull framing.
  Transverse Bracing. - The central structure connecting the hull to the two wing beams extending through the hull.
  The keelsons are 1/2-in. basswood, built in not more than five sections, having a t least a 9-in. scarf at the joints and held together with copper rivets. To this the floor frames, also 1/2-in. basswood, are notched and securely riveted by two corner stringers. Throughout it will be noted that built-up members are used, permitting the use of readily available material.
  White ash is used for keel, longerons, fin edges and the bent ends of the stringers. These two may be built up or spliced, but not more than four sections may be used. The scarfs in the keel must be at least 18 ins. long, and are copper riveted. Formerly a straight scarf was used, as it was considered a better production proposition, but now a stepped scarf is used, as it was found that the time saved in making the straight scarf was lost in assembly.
  Similar methods of splicing are used in the case of the longerons, fin edges and stringers, and here the joints are served and doped. Care is taken in the location of all splices in longitudinal members, so that a number of splices will not occur in any one section, causing a weak section and failure. For example, not more than two longeron splices may appear in any one bay, and these must both appear in either the upper pair - to balance each other. By this method of splicing ash longitudinals, and the careful location of joints, short lengths of ash can be used. And this is important, as airplane ash under any condition is not easy to secure. All ash members are steam bent to assembly shape before assembly on the hull forms. This bending and the splicing of the complete longitudinals are done in a separate part of the shops. Likewise the keelsons and floor frames, stringers, bulkheads, posts, struts, braces, etc., are sub-assembled, and when delivered to the hull erection floor are ready for assembly but with little fitting. This idea is carried out even to the bottom planking, which is delivered in amounts sufficient for one hull. But a detailed description of this sub-assembly is too involved for comment here.
  Throughout the hull construction all parts are tied together by metal fittings - and concerning these metal fittings three points are noteworthy as aiding increased production. The first is a choice of material used. One generally considers the steel entering into airplane construction as being the best possible, and heat-treated to the greatest strength. But fittings on this plane are in general soft or mild carbon steel.
  The reasons for this are that such steel can be procured almost anywhere, is easily worked and welded, and loses little of its strength through abuse in brazing, welding or forming. The second point to be noted in the fittings is that, with few exceptions, they are built up from flat patterns bent and brazed or welded. This eliminates drop forgings, which were so difficult to secure, and permitted production to go ahead without waiting on the construction of dies. The third feature of the fittings is the use of identical fittings in many places. For example, throughout the hull, the junction of the posts and the longerons, the point of attachment of the floor frames to the longerons, and the plates covering the joints of the hull bracing - fittings differed only slightly at the different stations.
  However, originally each similar fitting differed slightly, necessitating a separate template, a separate print, part number, operations, etc., throughout the whole construction. But a study was made, and an "average fitting" produced that would suffice for several similar stations. The fact that such fittings did not exactly fit anywhere, or had lugs that were not needed in other places, amounted to less than they saved time in production. And they were structurally as good.
  A further difference in the construction of this hull and that of similar hulls of its predecessors is to be noted. On previous models, riblets were used to connect the keel with the fin edge stringers. These riblets were about 1/2 in. by 1/2 in. ash, spaced at distances varying from 9 to 15 ins. transversely across the boat bottom. To bring their bottom surface flush with the stringers, lower longerons and fin edges, it was necessary to notch keel, stringers, longerons and fin edges that they might be set in. And it was a slow, tedious job. On this unit, the riblets are omitted, though several ash-tie strips are used to connect the keel with the fin edges. It is considered that these, together with the planking, provide transverse strength in abundance. Another feature in the construction is the extensive use of steel tubing as struts and posts in the body bracing. This is particularly noticeable in the tail, where the parts are under no great strain, and are not used for the attachment of other parts. Steel tubing is readily procured, and ready for use by simply cutting to length.
  The central or transversal bracing unit is a complete unit in itself, and is set up as a separate assembly previous to installation in the hull. This differs from the usual construction and permits the use of templates to assure accuracy. The transverse bracing connects the hull to the wings and the hull may be said to be built around this unit. By making all transverse bracings identical, any set of F-5-L wings, engine mountings, etc., may be more readily installed. It is also to be noted that the wing spars passing through the hull are spliced at the centre. These spars, styled the sidewalk spars, as they carry a short veneer covered wing section at each side of the hull that is used as a sidewalk for the mechanics to reach the engine, may be removed when the hull is packed for shipment, permitting the use of a much smaller shipping crate.
  The bottom planking comprises an inner and an outer skin, each of 7/32-in. cedar. The inner skin is placed at right angles to the keel, differing from usual practice wherein both layers are at an acute angle to the keel. As riblets are eliminated, the right-angled inner planking tends to replace them as strength members. This inner planking is either Port Oxford or Spanish cedar in random widths of from 4 to 10 ins. The outer planking is placed at an angle of 45 deg. to the keel, the acute angle being on the aft side. All pieces are from 4 to 5 ins. wide, Spanish cedar, and are screwed to all longitudinals. The two layers of planking are secured together by brass clinch nails. Courtrai, a special fabric, is laid in marine glue between the two layers of planking, and is used extensively in rendering all joints tight. All planking is laid with a slight clearance to allow a go-and-come resulting from moisture changes.
  The bottom steps are secured in place after the hull is planked. They are two layers of 7/32-in. mahogany planking, fabric and marine glue between, screwed and clinch-nailed together, and secured to the hull bottom by copper rivets, being separated from it by triangular ash strips. The forward ends of these steps are scarfed and set into the hull planking, a thick brass strip being set in flush over the joint. For the rest of the hull 1/8-in. three-ply waterproof veneer is used.
  The top plane is built up in five sections, comprising a centre section of 13 ft. 6 ins. span (108 sq. ft.), two intermediate, 27 ft. span (216 sq. ft. each), and two outer extensions, 15 ft. 11 ins. span (95 sq. ft. each). The lower plane is in four sections, consisting of two centre sections (or sidewalks) mounted one on each side of the hull, giving the same overall span as the top centre section and having a combined area of 66 sq. ft. The balance of the lower surface consists of port and starboard wings, 30 ft. 5 ins. span (240 sq. ft.) each. Vertical "non-skid" fins are mounted above the top planes at each outermost interplane strut.
  An extended technical description of the panel, strut and tail construction could be expanded to many volumes. But the outstanding features of these are laminated spars, simple strap type wing and strut fittings and laminated uniform section struts.
  At one time laminated or spliced spars were not in favour, but the shortage of long spruce necessitated the use of laminated and spliced spars, and it is found that the laminated spar is better than the unlaminated one. Outside of the economy of material, the ease of drying pieces of small cross section and the resulting dependability of built-up spars more than off-sets any additional expense in manufacturing. Two types of laminated spars are used - the two-piece and the three-piece. The former is simply two pieces placed back to back, and glued together. The two halves are of equal thickness, and are lightened as was the solid spar except at splice positions. Scarfed splices are used, and staggered in the two halves. The two-piece is used in the following places: all front spars (except engine section), horizontal stabiliser spars, and rear aileron spars. The three-piece spar comprises a thin piece sandwiched between two thicker outside pieces, glued together, and lightened similar to the solid spar, except at splices. This construction is used in the sidewalk and engine section, or for rear spars. Of the two types, the two-piece is considered stronger, and hence the above distinction of their use.
  The idea of using strap fittings and the elimination of forgings and machined fittings extends to the strut and wing fittings. Here also mild carbon steel is used, cut from flat patterns and bent to shape. The base wing fitting is a U-strap, bent around and bolted to the spar. From it lugs are bent for interwing wiring, and the interplane side has a cloverleaf extension for the attachment of the struts and wire terminals. These are reinforced by washer plates to provide bearing for the bolts. Roughly, the spars are secured to the strut ends by a bolt passing through the central clover leaf and the strut end, and the usual strut socket is eliminated. In detail, the strut end is squared down, drilled to mate with the central cloverleaf hole, and a steel tube fitted in the end to give greater bearing and prevent the strut end from being crushed when the through-bolt is tightened. The through-bolt has a standard eye head, permitting the attachment for the drift and anti-drift wires, where a single wire is used. When double drift wires are used, the through-bolts holding the flying and landing wire clevises are made with an eye. Bearing for the strut ends on the spar is secured by means of a thin bearing plate between the strut and the spar.
  It was observed that considerable time was lost in shaping the tapered streamline section struts, and furthermore, these being in two-piece construction, required thick material that was difficult to obtain. Hence, a three-piece uniform section strut was chosen. As stated, this strut is three-piece, and all the lightening is done in the central portion. In the rough it is a flat board, the length and width of the strut, with a series of oval holes cut out of the central portion on a vertical spindle shaper. The cheek pieces are then glued on each side, and the strut rough-machine planed to a streamline section. It is then finished to the desired section by hand.
  Two Liberty engines comprise the power plant. These engines are identical with the engines used by the Army, with the exception of the pistons, which pistons are given more clearance, so that the compression pressure is reduced. The result is a slight reduction in maximum horse-power, but greater engine life. This is advantageous because in seaplane service long patrols place a premium on dependability and a seaplane does not habitually frequent high altitudes or require the maximum available horse-power.
  In the main, the engine mounting differs only slightly from the mounting of the Liberty engines in the Curtiss H-12 and H-16 seaplanes. Horizontal laminated engine bearers are carried on wooden V-struts over each main wing hinge fitting, and are attached to the upper panel by tubular A-struts. The radiator is carried on a bracket at the front, and the oil supply in streamlined tanks at each side of the bearers. However, in details, the F-5-L mounting is simplified and made a better production-proposition. The first step was the elimination of drop forgings. Strap fittings built up and brazed together are used for attachment of bearers to V-braces, and the upper attachment of the A-brace to the engine section is also a strap fitting. This attachment is strong and simple. The ends of the tube are first fitted with a tubular sleeve, and then formed to a U-section. In addition to the simplicity of construction, this end is extremely rigid. The A-braces are attached to the spar fitting through a universal joint bearing plate. This is also a built-up fitting. The forward A-brace is bowed to clear the engine cylinders, and the halves are tied together by a cross-tube and through bolt. This brace must be removed before the engine can be taken from the plane, and the removable cross-tube and through bolt permit this to be done. Differing from previous construction, the engine bearers are carried forward so that a straight radiator bracket may be used. Previously, the bearers were cut off by the front engine flange and arched brackets used. However, the straight bracket is simpler to construct, and is possible, on Liberty installations.
  In an installation of this nature, it is, of course, impossible to start the engines by hand cranking on the propeller. For this reason a rear hand starter, comprising a reduction gear and clutch engaging the crankshaft is used. One man can readily turn the engine over, though two are generally used. As stated, the oil tanks are streamlined, cylindrical, and mounted at each side of the engine bearers. The total capacity per engine is 17 galls., and the two tanks are connected by a manifold, the division simply being constructional. In later planes the side oil tanks are being superseded by one streamlined tank mounted between the engine-bearers and behind the engines. Tins serves to clean the installation up to a marked extent. A long-distance thermometer bulb is installed in the oil return line, and the gauge is mounted in the mechanics' compartment by the tanks. The oil-pressure gauge is installed on the pilots' instrument-board. A water thermometer gauge likewise is in the mechanics' cockpit. This location of the thermometers is because engine temperatures are of enough importance to demand quite frequent attention.
  The petrol supply is carried in five tanks placed amidships in the hull. There are two large cylindrical vertical tanks, one fore and aft horizontal tank, and two transverse horizontal tanks. The latter two were originally consolidated, but the single tank could not be removed without taking the plane to pieces. All have a total capacity of approximately 498 galls. As these tanks are below carburetor level, a header or gravity tank is necessary. This is located in the upper wing, between the two engines, and carries about 20 galls. The petrol is pumped from the hull by a double-barrelled windmill pump, and forced into the gravity tank sump. From the sump leads are taken to the two engines, and the surplus over this amount flows through small holes in the sump sides into the gravity tank. When the gravity tank becomes full, an overflow pipe carries the excess back through a sight box into one of the tanks. This overflow serves to show the mechanic that petrol is being pumped, and that the gravity tank is full. The construction of the gravity sump is noteworthy. It will be noted that the base of the sump is somewhat below the bottom of the tank, and that the two are only connected through small holes at the sump sides. Hence if the gravity tank be shot away, the supply of petrol pumped may be shut down to the amount used, with the base of the sump alone serving as a header tank. A semi-rotary hand pump is used to fill the gravity tank when the windmill pumps are inoperative. This pump is an English design, and a similar pump is also used for bilge water.
  The leads from all the supply tanks are consolidated into one manifold, and by regulating the valves petrol may be pumped from any tank into the gravity tank. However, it all returns into the starboard forward vertical tank, and in flight petrol is pumped alternately from this tank and each of the other tanks in rotation. It is necessary to pump from the tanks in rotation in order to trim ship, and a separate manifold would be necessary to return the overflow petrol to any tank. It is to be noted that the manifold incorporates a filler-valve piped to a union at the hull sides. This serves for the attachment of a pipe-line from a supply boat or tank that the seaplane tanks may be filled by petrol under pressure. Though this method of filling is not much used, it is stated all the tanks may be filled thus in a few minutes, whereas the funnel and measure method takes from a half to one hour.
  There are few other points of interest in the petrol system, standard sumps being used to prevent water and dirt from reaching the engine and dial gauges being used on the tanks to show the gasoline supply at hand. Throughout the system all pipe-line connections are through olive joints, and the features here are ease of connection, flexibility, and the fact that full flow of petrol is permitted. As an aid to starting, a small hand primer permits raw petrol to be pumped into the intake manifold.
  The outstanding features of the flying controls are the laminated-yoke dual elevator and aileron control mounting, and the adjustable rudder bar installation. The yoke itself is built-up of 1/8-in, laminations of ash, glued and riveted together, making a strong and light construction. Each end is extended to form the elevator throw, and the aileron control wheels arc mounted on brackets at the top. These wheels are connected by an endless chain, from the middle of the lower part of which are taken the aileron control wires. The cross-tube is integral with the yoke, and the whole swings on bearings at the hull sides. In addition to lightness of construction, rigidity, and simplicity of wiring, this control affords a maximum amount of room for passing from the front to the rear cockpit, and does not interfere with the legs of the pilots as does a post-type control.
  Originally, adjustment of the distance between the pilot and the rudder-bars was effected by shifting the seat. But this also brought the control wheel closer, and the installation was complicated. Adjustment on this plane is effected by shifting the rudder-bar bodily fore and aft the required amount. The rudder-bar is carried between two straps that are supported on a tubular framework in front of the pilots. These straps have a series of holes, and the rudder-bar may be set to swing on a pin passed through any one of these. A similar adjustment permits the outer end of the bar to be set properly in connection with the rudder-cable. As these pins are set in place by a small brass cotter, any desired setting can be made quickly.
  Under severe flying conditions, or in the case of tail or nose heaviness, it is sometimes necessary for the pilot to exert a continuous pressure on the controls. On the elevator or rudder controls, this continuous pressure may be applied at will, in any desired amount through rubber cords, called "bungies." The complete bungy is simply two pieces of rubber cable, connected by a small chain, and having both ends secured to the hull sides. The chain passes adjacent to the control it governs, and is hooked to it at will with a snap-hook. The pressure is applied to the control by extending the rubber cable before the attachment of the chain. All control cables are carried on brass ball-bearing sheaves, and the sheave-housings are fitted with guards to prevent the cables from coming off. With the exception of the point where the aileron cables pass through the upper wing, all control cables are open to inspection.


Aeromarine

  In the Philadelphia Navy Yard were stored considerable numbers of F-5-L flying boats for which the Navy had no immediate need. 20 of these flying boats were offered for auction on 22 September 1919. Paul G. Zimmerman of the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co was of the opinion that their sale at the low price would flood the market. He put forward a scheme whereby they would be given to cities and municipalities who would operate these after conversion to civilian passenger carriers by members of the Manufacturers Aircraft Association. Hunsaker replied that while he had read the proposal with “considerable interest” he was of the opinion that it would take an act of Congress to allow for the disposal of the boats in the manner presented by Zimmerman. This scheme came to nothing.
  In March 1920, Zimmerman again wrote to Hunsaker. He stated that the company was just working on their first conversion of an F-5-L into a commercial machine. This was purchased for around $6,500. Five machines were contemplated for conversion. “We are satisfied that as soon as the first machine is flown much publicity will be given to it and from this publicity inquiries will result.” Zimmerman wanted a full set, some 2,000 drawings for the F-5-L. In reply to this request, the Bureau of Supplies and Accounts noted that six F-5-L machines had recently been sold at a price of $10,850 each and it was understood, unofficially, that Aeromarine would modify the aircraft. The Bureau thought that Aeromarine should pay for the drawings. What the result was is not known, however about eleven F-5-L boats were converted by Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co to a passenger configuration. Given the designation Aeromarine 75 they were capable of carrying ten passengers. The aircraft were operated by the company’s own airlines: Aeromarine Airways and Aeromarine West Indies Airways, flying from Key West to Havana; New York to Atlantic City, and Cleveland to Detroit. They are credited with carrying the first international air mail from the USA.
  Aeromarine literature stated that this
  Aeromarine aerial cruiser, which has ample accommodation for ten passengers, exclusive of pilot and pilot’s mechanician, has been designed for aerial voyages from New York to Asbury Park Atlantic City, Norfolk, Washington, Baltimore, Southampton, New Haven, New London, Newport, Miami and other points on the Atlantic.
  The trip would be made “in appointments that even the custom-built creations of the Automobile world, this new Aeromarine cruiser has a comfort all its own.”
  The “Aircraft Yearbook” for 1921 listed two F-5-L Cruisers with Aeromarine Sightseeing & Navigation Company (merged with Aeromarine West Indies Airways Inc), and six F-5-L Cruisers with Aeromarine West Indies Airways Inc. In the 1924 edition it lists five F-5-L thirteen-passenger craft with Aeromarine Airways Corp.
  In February 1921 the Bureau of C&R recommended the sale of two F-5 flying boats to the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co. They were to be delivered as is and not removed from their crates for overhaul. If any surfaces required covering, this was to be furnished separately.
  Aeromarine Airways lasted until 1924 when it ceased operations. The full story of his pioneer airline may be found in “Aeromarine Airways - Its Aircraft and History,” by D Koch, in Skyways, the Journal of the Airplane 1920-1940, No.52, Oct 1999.

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Curtiss H-16 of No.257 Sqdn, RAF assigned to NAS Dundee in September 1918.
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Curtiss H-16 N4072 of No.257 Sqdn, RAF assigned to NAS Dundee.
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Curtiss H-16 K-29 was recorded at Killingholme on 16 September 1918, when it made a test flight. It had problems and the first patrol appears to be that of 26 October when it made a convoy escort of 440 nautical miles under Ensigns Kunkle and Rumill. It was still at Killingholme on 22 November when it made a Practice Flight under Ensign Kunkle.
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Curtiss H-16 Sampaio Correia, August 1922. In 1922 the New York World newspaper sponsored a flight from New York to Brazil by ex-US Navy pilot Walter Hinton. On 22 August 1922 Hinton misjudged a night landing in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, wrecking Sampaio Correia. A replacement aircraft completed the trip.
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Curtiss H-16 N4060 assigned to Felixstowe; it had a balanced rudder and other control surfaces.
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Curtiss H-16 Bureau No.845 with post-war rudder modification. This machine was shipped to Pensacola on completion in October 1918. It was stored there until put back into service in 1921. Shipped to the NAF in 1922, presumably for storage, it was struck off in 1923.
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F-5-L A3565 of the U.S. Navy, circa 1922.
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F-5-L of the U.S. Navy.
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F-5-L A3859 assigned to NAS Guantanamo Bay in March 1920; it was deleted in August 1922. It was one of five F-5-L aircraft, the others being A3601, A3603, A3662, and A3665, that undertook a six-week cruise through the Caribbean in support of the fleet.
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F-5-L of the U.S. Navy.
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F-5-L A4281 assigned to Utility Sqdn 1 at NAS San Diego, 1926-1928.
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F-5-L assigned to Utility Sqdn 1, U.S. Navy.
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F-5-L of the U.S. Navy based at Hampton Roads NAS postwar as indicated by the "HR-2" on the bow.
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F-5-L A4293, U.S. Navy. The finish appears to be aluminum overall except for the bottoms of hull and floats.
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F-5-L assigned to Patrol Sqdn 14, USN.
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F-5-L 315 of the Brazilian Naval Air Service, mid-1920s. In 1923 Brazil acquired 14 F-5-Ls; these were given serials 1-5, 21-23, 311-316, and 321-326. They served until 1930. These colors are speculative.
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F-5-L B-8 of the Argentinian Air Service, circa 1922. In 1922 Argentina purchased eight F-5-Ls and gave them serials B-1 through B-8. They served until 1931 as operational aircraft, then as trainers until 1935. These colors are speculative.
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The first H-16 from the NAF is ready for launching. The early H-16 boats had a gooseneck spigot mount for the front Lewis gun. This was replaced by a Searff ring on the boats that went to Europe.
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An H-16 under construction at Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corp at Buffalo, NY. Note the flap at the front of the aileron that folds back over the aileron gap when in flight. The fabric covered rear fuselage section is well illustrated. This would often break open in rough seas and was replaced by ply sheeting on many of the boats. The hull appears to be varnished on all wooden surfaces. According to Sir A. Robinson, the aluminium step treads on the walkways over the fins were a distinguishing feature of the H-16 on the ground. This is most probably N1162.
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N1162 in the same location. Note the flap in front of the aileron gap that closed with air pressure in flight. N1162 was not delivered as such. It is thought that the batch N1160-N1174 was delivered as N4060-N4074.
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N4060 without a cockpit canopy. This was the first of a batch of 15 H-16 boats from Curtiss. It arrived at Felixstowe in March 1918 and was at the Isle of Grain for testing and experimentation from May. It then served with No.230 Squadron, RAF, and disappears from the records in January 1919.
O.Thetford - British Naval Aircraft since 1912 /Putnam/
Curtiss H.16 Large America (No.4060).
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Dazzle painted H-16 N4060 "ready for patrol" at Felixstowe. (AHT AL0772-017)
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N4060 beached. Note the balanced rudder and ailerons. The under wing cockade does not carry over onto the aileron. Another dazzle painted boat is on the water behind N4060. This would indicate that the balanced ailerons were added in the UK.
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N4072 shows the fabric covered rear fuselage above the wash board well in this colour scheme. The rudder is unbalanced and a cockpit canopy is fitted. Note the walkway on the lower wing outboard of the engine support struts. These machines have a dark colour to the upper fabric surfaces of the hull and wings. The Colour that Curtiss used is unknown at this time but may have been the green that is stated to have been applied to the Large America boats.
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N4892 on the beach. This Curtiss H-16 appears to have had the ply painted the same dark colour as the fabric surfaces rather than being varnished British fashion, this dark colour continuing onto the hull bottom. Lack of documentation makes it difficult to make reliable assumptions as to the colours of these flying boats. Delivered in September 1918, N4892 was from a batch of 110 boats ordered from the USA but only N4890 to N4949 were received, the rest being cancelled.
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Curtiss H-16 N4934 ended up as a house boat for these Naval Cadets. N4934 was delivered into store at AAP Norwich on the week ending 3 October 1918 and later scrapped with so many other boats in this batch. It survived for a number of years. Flying boat hulls were sometimes saved and used for a houseboat but too many were left to rot before their historical value was recognised. The Supermarine Southampton hull in the RAF Museum, Hendon, was recovered as a houseboat and saved.
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1918 saw the Flying boats adopt colourful markings as displayed by the two Large Americas illustrated here.
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British H-16 with zig-zag stripe to forward hull and light coloured nose. Note how the dark upper wing colour is carried around the leading edge of the wings.
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An H-16 at Queenstown, Ireland, 1918. (AHT AL-1171-018)
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Dazzle painted British H-16 with balanced rudder and ailerons and cockpit canopy removed. Note what appears to be a large weapon in the rear cockpit. Another dazzle painted boat rides at rest further out in the water.
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An USN Curtiss H-16 of Killingholme station. This machine bears the Station code "K"; the last numeral of the individual aircraft number cannot be positively identified. The machine is Navy Grey overall with US insignia. Note that the top of the radiators appear to be blanked off and the boat is on the cradle for K-11.
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A front view of a Killingholme bombed up H-16, 24 October 1918.
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The H-16 did carry out patrols from stations in the UK. A rear view of K-11 from Killingholme shows the twin 520-lb bomb load of the type. 24 October 1918.
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Detail of the Skeleton Tubular 520 Lb Mk.II(F) bomb carrier and an H.E.R.L. 530 lb Mk.1/N/a light case bomb on a Killingholme H-16, 24 October 1918. (The N indicated Naval use).
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A USN H-16 Bureau No. A-794. Reported as 100% complete in April 1918, A-794 was shipped overseas from New York on the Jason during the week ending 25 May. Assigned to Killingholme it was recorded at Killingholme on 13 August when it had to return from a convoy escort with engine trouble (Crew: Ens Ives; Ens Allen; CMM Lamont C. Fisher; E2c(r) Donald Phelps.). The machine was test flown throughout August with no patrols being recorded. As with so many of these flying boats it there is no record of its fate; not reported by any station; "Sent overseas not returned".
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H-16 A-836 on the ramp at Pensacola. It was usual to start the engines before lowering the boat into the water, and it is therefore likely that this photograph shows the recovery of the machine. Navy Grey overall. This boat was lost on 10 January 1921 at Pensacola. The crew were: CMM(A) J.W. Utley; CMM(A) J.E. Rawlings (student). Held to have been poor judgement in recovering from one engine turn resulting in a bad skid; landed with one wing low to a total wreck except for Engines 0988/2154 and 0751/1595 that were not damaged. Fortunately there was no injury.
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Curtiss H-16 boats A-836 and A-3479 on the hardstand.The Bureau Nos. marked on the hull sides indicates that these are US based H-16 boats, this photograph being taken at Pensacola Naval Air Station. Note how the last two numerals of the Bureau Nos. are painted on the bow. There appears to be two Curtiss HS-2L boats in the background but it is only one machine caught by the time exposure so that the Bureau No. A-2082 appears to be on the front and rear hull. This machine bears the "hat in the ring" insignia of one of the squadrons that operated from Pensacola. N-9 training biplanes are further to the rear. A-836 was delivered to Pensacola in September 1918 in a damaged condition thought due to the crates hitting overhead bridges on the Atlantic Coast rail line. It was stricken but obviously repaired and back in service by at least 9 December 1918. This boat was crashed to a total wreck on 10 January 1921. A-3479 was on NAS Pensacola on 4 November 1918, and survived to be written off due age and condition on 12 May 1922. A-2082 was on Station in October 1918, and was written off on 14 April 1924, due to condition due terms of service.
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H-16 A-845 with aluminium doped wings and tail, and post-war insignia. The "45" is marked on the upper centre section and on the bow. Note the modified balanced rudder. Reported as 25% complete in June 1918, and 70% complete in August, A-845 was 100% complete in October and was assigned to Pensacola. It was assessed as too bulky to rail and was assembled at Hampton Roads and flown to Florida. Pensacola reported on 19 May 1921, that the boat was in storage and would be converted to dual when erected. This was to be done as there were not enough F-5-L boats on the station and although the policy was to replace the H-16 with the F-5-L, the H-16 boats were required to complete the station complement for training. A-8445 was in service by 15 December 1921 at least. It was in continuous service training until 10 June 1922 when it was transferred to the NAF by air, arriving on the 11 July. On 4 June 1923, the NAF reported that the machine had been in storage since manufacture for about 5 years, which was incorrect.The hull and surfaces showed signs of deterioration due to age, etc., and it was recommended that it be stricken. This was duly carried out in October 1923.
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C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-867 was 100% complete in January 1919. On the 27th it was shipped to the NAF for storage, arriving in company with A-845. It was still in storage in July 1923 when it was noted as requiring reconditioning. In May 1925 it was allocated to the USS WRIGHT. On 14 August 1926, it was received back at the NAF. In March 1927 it was recorded as with VJ 1. On 3 May following year there were signs of rot on lower ends of the centreline, struts, etc., and the boat was to be stricken.This taking place on 27 June, with a TFT of 476.75 hrs. A-867 can be seen in the photograph to have all the late modifications to the type. The cockpit is the open type, there is a balanced rudder and the rear of the hull has ply sides with strengthening ribs. The Bureau No. is now carried in small numbers on the fin. The hull appears to be a colour other than Navy Grey.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
The USN proposed to use lighters to carry their Curtiss H-16 boats across the North Sea until they were in bombing range of the German submarine bases. The anti-submarine war had top priority for material and Liberty engines. This was to lead to the USN and Marine Corps undertaking land based bombing operations and caused conflict with the Army. This photograph was probably taken in the US as the Bureau No. is marked on the hull. The Bureau No. appears to be 3312 but this number was allocated to a US D.H.4. Note the lighter bears the stencil "USN-22"on its bow. The lower part of the radiators appear to be blanked off. (AHT AL0772-156)
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H-16 A-3479 shows the application of the last two numerals of the Bureau No. to the bow as the aircraft code number. This boat has the balanced rudder. A-3479 had a hull built by L.C. Seabury Co. This machine has a confusing history. A-3479 was reported as 100% complete in August 1918 and shipped to Pensacola on the same month by rail. Pensacola reported it on station on 4 November. It did not last long as on 5 December it was reported sinking off Town Point. A barge was dispatched but failed to tow the boat ashore before it sank. The cause was held to be due to landing on glassy water which crushed the hull bottom. There were no injuries in the incident. However, other sources state that it was railed to Pensacola on 9 December 1918, and was in service during 1921 and 1922. Given the colour scheme and markings in the photograph this seems most likely the correct history. Whether the original boat was recovered or the entry is incorrect is unknown at this time. A-3479 was eventually stricken on 16 June 1922, owing to general poor condition, the wing fabric being poor, the hull old and leaking.The engines, 02218WR/3388 and 05506WR/4761, were to be overhauled.
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A-3500 being shown off to a couple of young ladies.
G.Swanborough, P.Bowers - United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 /Putnam/
The H-16, with swept trailing edge of ailerons, twin Liberty engines and enclosed pilot's cabin, which distinguish this model from the F-5L, was the final Curtiss H-Model. Also built under licence by the Naval Aircraft Factory.
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H-16 Bu No. A-4061 with a Curtiss N-9 trainer overhead. A-4061 was reported as 100% complete in October 1918 and shipped the 16th to the Brooklyn Naval Aviation Storehouse but was diverted to Pensacola with A832-836 and A4060-4062. On 24 December 1918, it was on an instruction flight from Pensacola and at 1,500 feet when the port airscrew shattered causing a forced alighting near entrance to East Bay. It drifted ashore and was secured. On 9 May 1919, on a return from Mobile, the boat flew over Pensacola base at low altitude. The crew was Ens W.H. Robrack (p); Ens M.D. Nolan (assist p); Ens B.L. Chase (navigator); Ens F. Lamb (passenger); MM1c T.A. Hudson. Robrack was suspended from flying for one week as a result. On 11 October 1920, the port engine was damaged when the insulation wiring burned away causing the distributor head to burn. The upper engine panel, intermediate panel and lower intermediate wing panels burned. The incident was caused by a broken gas lead causing the motor to back fire. The flying boat was overhauled and the engine repaired. On 26 April 1921, Pensacola reported that the condition of the hull was generally bad, with timbers water soaked and rotten in the bottom; planking was coming loose from the hull; interior fittings were very rusty. The damage was incident to service and it was recommended that a spare hull be substituted and minor repairs be carried out to the wing surfaces. Engines 0508/966 and 02247/3576 were to be overhauled. On 21 May it was reported with a new hull, and the minor repairs to wing surfaces were nearly complete.The following month the new hull suffered in a forced alighting. The upper left hand longeron was broken, and other damage caused by the failure of Engine No.308/572.The boat undertook a test flight at Pensacola on 24 September before being shipped by air to Hampton Roads with A-850 and A-3500. Hampton Roads reported on 12 January 1922, that A-4061 was in commission but was in excess of allowance, taking up manpower and space. A request to place the machine in storage was granted. On 1 October 1923, it was sold without engines or instruments for $45.
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A-4062 in a spot of bother. It appears that the hull has sprung a leak and the machine has been beached. This does not look like the incident of 13 January 1919, when, with a crew of Ens Garrett B. Linderman Jr (p). Student officers CQM(A) Geroge Alfred Hero; CQM(A) Harry Cordery Moore & CQM(A) Robert Alston Brant; MM2c Orville Roy Bolton; MM1c Ivan Edward Quinlan, the boat crashed in Escambia Bay due to porposing and stalling to a total wreck. The cause was held to be glassy water. The boat was written off with 61:35 hours since 19 October.
G.Loening - Takeoff into Greatness /Putnam/
H-16 twin motor flying boat, used by the Navy in World War I.
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Assembling or disassembling an H-16 in France. The aircraft code ST-16 indicates it was assigned to Saint Trojan NAS. A far as can be ascertained from surviving documents no H-16 flew offensive patrols from French stations. (AHT AL0340-103)
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This H-16 N4060 was fitted with an experimental night landing stick. The device was lowered when coming down to alight and when it hit the water it levelled the boat out for a landing.The footsteps across the fins are of a different type to N4230. Note the small window above the W/T operator's position just behind the wing. This photograph of 5 September 1918, gives a good view of the engine installation.The fabric wrapped struts were probably Battleship Grey. (AHT AL917-010&011)
P.Bowers - Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947 /Putnam/
The single H-16-1 was a standard H-16 with the engines installed as pushers.
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A-839 was built with its engines installed in pusher configuration and the wings were given a large sweepback. Also noteworthy are the stencils along the side of the walkways across the fins of this boat. Early US based H-16 boats appear to have had the gooseneck spigot mount for their front machinegun. Reported as 100% complete in October 1918 at the Curtiss Garden City plant. On 2 November underwent a preliminary trial when flown by Lt McCullough at Curtiss Garden City. It rose from water twice but only for short hops. Found to be slightly nose heavy the boat was taxing for a third flight when the propeller split damaging the port side walk panel and other panels. In December it was recorded as now ready for trials at NAS Rockaway. While there it was stored outside due to lack of space. Flown to Hampton Roads on 13 January 1919, it had special auxiliary rudders placed within streamline of the propellers as shown in the photo. In February it was laid up for repairs. On 26 October 1920, Hampton Roads recorded that the hull was rotten and beyond repair due to the length of service. The wings could not be used on the standard H-16, and it was recommended it be stricken. This was carried out in November. There appears to have been no advantage to the pusher configuration and the machine was little used.
G.Swanborough, P.Bowers - United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 /Putnam/
The first F-5-L built by the NAF, A-3559. The machine is Navy Grey overall. The original recessed rudder balance may be seen under the horizontal tailplane. Reported as 50% complete in July 1918 and 100% complete the following month it was ready on 11th of that month. If flew from the NAF to Hampton Roads on 28 August and was still there on 30 November when it alighted due to a heavy squall. As the wind died down the pilot tried to reach Hampton Roads before dark. Ran into heavy rain such that it was impossible to tell which direction seaplane was heading as compass could not be read. Absence of windscreens made it additional difficulty so the pilot attempted to land but could not see water due to the rain. He levelled off too high and side slipped to right. Hull began to fill and the crew took refuge on tail. Recommended be stricken, cause held to be the improper placing of the windscreens and light compass. On 17 September this was carried out. Another source indicates that this may not have been carried out immediately as it has the machine still at Hampton Roads in November. (AHT AL1171-046)
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The first F-5-L produced by Canadian Aeroplanes Ltd, A-3559. In July 1918 reported 100% complete and shipped to NAF for testing on the 30th for experimental purposes. Recorded at Hampton Roads on 16 November. Received at NAF on 11 February 1919. On 14 July while attached to the NAF A-3559 crashed to a total wreck. Ens Harold Livermore Roehrig and two 2 men were killed. 6 August the boat was stricken. TFT 17:30 hrs.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
NAF constructed F-5-L A-3560 shows the same rear gun mount as on the H-16. It is not known if the ring could slide along the rails at the side of the large rectangular opening in the hull top decking. Note that the hard stand at the top of the slipway is timber planked. Reported "Ready. Loaded on car" on 28 August 1918, A-3560 was shipped to Hampton Roads by air on 9 September arriving the following day. On 12th it attempted to get off with a gross load of 13,094 Ibs for a test. On 18 September the hull was reported as crushed on right side covering an area about 2 sq ft. Wires were loosened on the tail. The aileron control fitting and pulleys were torn out of the center top plane. Entire upper left wing from the engine section out, including the overhang complete with aileron and fittings was damaged beyond repair (DBR).The machine was to be repaired on Hampton Roads station. Get away and propeller tests expected to continue on 8 October. On the 19th it had another accident. The right aileron and horn were DBR; the left aileron and horn were badly damaged; while the upper load wire fitting on the intermediate wing were broken when the plane collided with a light beacon while manoeuvring for pictures. Repaired it was with the Hampton Roads Experimental Department in January 1919 when it flew to Washington and return to test a radio transmitter. On 3 May 1919, as a result of alighting in a heavy sea the machine was lost but the engines were salvaged. A-3560 was stricken on 9 June with a TFT of 5:58 hours.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-3565 carried the individual aircraft number "2." ln this colour scheme the upper wing is a light colour (white), probably the same as the hull checks. This F-5-L was constructed at the NAF. As at 30 September 1918, A-3561 to A-3577 were reported as 65-100% complete. On 17 September the boat was loaded onto a car for shipment. In 1920 it was offered for sale at the NAF. In may have been in service by 21 January 1922, at Hampton Roads when a Maintenance Report was made. On 18 December 1922, it was flown from the NAF to Hampton Roads for the Atlantic Fleet. It was probably with the Fleet when the high visibility colour scheme was applied. During 1923 to 1925 it seems to have been assigned to Hampton Roads and the USS Wright alternating between the two. On 1 July 1925 it was reported by Pearl Harbor as having been recovered prior to the departure of VS 1 from Hawaiian waters. A Report of 15 December stated that all the lower fittings were found to be badly corroded and unfit for further use, especially the main fittings in the tank section. As a result the boat was stricken from the list of Navy aircraft on 28 January 1926.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-3601 on 30 December 1919, at Pensacola. Reported as 100% complete on 18 July 1919, A-3601 was selected as a replacement F-5-L for the Atlantic Fleet, and was assembled at the NAF and shipped to the Air Detachment, Atlantic Fleet during 27 September to 15 October 1919. In November it was recorded as operating with the USS Shawmut. As an Airboat, A-3601 had a colourful hull with white stripe separated by the code 01. The last two numerals of the Bureau No. were used as the aircraft codes and were usually also carried on the nose of the bow. This Airboat accompanied A-3859 on its 1920 cruise. On one occasion during the cruise a forced alighting was caused to A-3601 by the throttle wire cutting through on a sharp corner where the wire was secured by a sheave. The flying boat had to be towed in with a very heavy sea running which resulted in one wing being damaged, and it was undergoing repairs on the 11th for damage caused by this incident. On 4 August the boat was at Santa Cruz del Sur, Cuba when the camshaft lost two teeth causing the engine to be surveyed. On the 10th it was shipped from the Shawmut to the NAF presumably due to its condition as it was recommended to be stricken in the following December, that taking place on the 30th of the month.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-3859 powering to get onto the step for takeoff. The insignia on the bow is of a flying fish. In this photograph the machine appears to be in navy Grey overall. The aircraft number (the last two numbers of the Bureau No. is not present on the bow but carried under the hull. This machine appears to have the WWI style national insignia. Note the black walkways on the fins.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The second photograph shows the machine in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with what appears to be a light (white) colour forward hull with the flying fish insignia in the oval. The wings may be aluminium doped. The horizontal tailplane upper surfaces are dark (chrome yellow) coloured. The cockpits and engines all have canvas covers.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
With canvas cover over the cockpits F-5-L A-3863 sits on the end of what appears to be a breakwater at Guam 1923. Note how the boat is supported at the wingtip floats and the rear hull. This boat was completed in early 1919 and may have been stored at the NAF as it was the subject of a maintenance report there in May 1922. It was allocated to the Atlantic Fleet Torpedo Squadron operating with the USS Sandpiper later that year. In 1923 it was assigned to the USS Wright and appears to have spent the time when it was not with the Wright at Hampton Roads. On 27 March 1924, Hampton Roads reported that the hull bottom planking needed replacing and recommended that the boat be stricken, the hull burnt and all useable material taken into store.This was carried out on 7 May 1925. The boat had a TFT of 399:40 hours at the time.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-3871 shows an anomaly in that the aircraft number "12" bears no relationship to the Bureau No. This may represent a replacement rudder from another aircraft, or a change in the way the aircraft numbers were allocated. This photograph was taken at St Louis Bay, Haiti, on 1 January 1924. The Squadron was on its way to Culebra, Puerto Rico. Note the gunnery pennant on the bow.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
F-5-L A-3882 on display, most probably at the 1919 Aeronautical Exhibition, NY. The small floatplane is the Loening Kitten.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
F-5-L Bureau No. A-4036 being prepared for launching down the slipway. Built at the NAF in September 1918 it wa reported as 20% complete, and 90% in November. On 17 January 1919, Ensigns Stillwell and Stinson flew the boat to Hampton Roads who reported that the starboard and port propeller stockings were badly damaged; the overhang load wire on the port wing was broken; the trailing edge on both upper wings and the lower port wing was badly warped; and there was considerable water in the hull that had to be pumped out and the bottom thoroughly cleaned inside and out. It would require two week to get ready for testing. On 12 February Hampton Roads reported that the machine had an enlarged vertical fin fitted for trial flights. On 10 April it was reported as damaged and on 9 June the boat was recommended to be stricken as "damaged", this taking place on 9 June. TFT was 18.39 hours.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-4293 appears to be aluminium coloured overall. The fin modification is present but not the balanced rudder. The machine is being refuelled. A small tractor for moving the boats is visible under the port wing, a saving in manpower when compared with the operations in WWI when many hands were required to shift these large flying machines. A4293 was was reported as 50% complete in November 1918. It was apparently stored at Buffalo until 2 April 1919, when it was shipped to Philadelphia, presumably to NAF for overhaul before being shipped to Coco Solo in January 1920. In June 1923 it was returned to the NAF arriving in September where it was recommended it be stricken. This occurred on 30 September 1927, with a TFT of 116:30 hours.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-4308 displays the lower surface markings on a late F-5-L with the hull strengthening modifications.The hull is the same colour overall. Curtiss built A-4308 had a relatively long life. In November 1918 it was reported to be 40% complete and was therefore selected to be finished as were all the 50 machines of this order. Initially stored at Buffalo, NY, it was shipped to the NAF in March 1919, and was presumably overhauled before being shipped to the USS Shawmut for the Atlantic Fleet with Liberty engines Nos. 02772/3841 (stb); 03822/5424 (port) installed. On 30 December 1920, Shawmut reported that the bow was pushed in about 6-8 inches from a point above the waterline to the machine gun mount. The plane did not make any water and no other part of the hull was damaged. Skid fin on starboard wing was broken but the overhang was not broken. The boat was beached and the bow covered with canvas and the crew then proceeded on their journey. Four longerons and the main keel were broken; all fore and aft main ribs were broken, all to 2 feet aft of the bow. All cowling ribs were broken forward of gunner's cockpit. Both starboard and port sponson longerons were broken 2 feet aft of the bow. No mention of how this occurred is given in the report. (Another document gives the date of this accident as occurring in 1921.)
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Two F-5-L boats in flight. The closer appears to be in aluminium overall while the other, A-4329, appears to have a Navy Grey hull. Both machines have the enlarged fm and balanced rudder and carry their last numerals of their Bureau Nos. on the centre section as the aircraft's code number. A-4329 was constructed by the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corp as part of a batch for 50 that was allowed to stand after the Armistice. Originally estimated to be ready in December 1918, it was shipped on 13 March 1919 to Philadelphia, probably for storage at the NAF. On 20 November 1920 it was shipped to Pensacola, and the following year to Hampton Roads. A report of 20 November 1922 condemned the hull and the seaplane was stricken on 2 January 1923.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
In Navy Grey overall with codes "1-S-8" on the rear hull and an interesting insignia on the forward hull, this F-5-L was photographed in Newport Harbour, Rhode Island. The "8" was repeated on the bow of the boat.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The codes on the upper surface of the top wing have been over-painted. This machine has the late hull modifications but early fin with balanced rudder. Note that the upper surface to the top wing and the horizontal tail surfaces have been doped chrome yellow.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The upper wing of A-4281 is chrome yellow. This boat carried late markings and has all the modifications to the tail surfaces and hull. The hull markings"I-J-I"are thought to show that this machine was the first plane in Utility Squadron 1. In August 1918 reported as 30% complete, and in November as 100% complete. On 18 November it was shipped to the NAF and presumably placed in storage where it was recorded on 22 October 1920 when it was recommended for sale. On 17 April 1926, the boat was shipped to the Scouting Fleet operating with the USS Wright, and was received on 5 June. It was returned to the NAF in August, probably for overhaul as it was shipped on 11 September to San Diego to Utility Squadron 1, VJ-1. The boat lasted until 1 May 1928 when it was recommended that it be stricken. The hull lower edges of keelson under gas tank was discoloured and spongy, etc., due to service and age. On 27 June, with a TFT of 473.35 hours, A-4281 was stricken.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Although it bears late markings this F-5-L has the original fin with modified balanced rudder. The code is thought to indicate that this is the 4th plane in Utility Squadron One. The meaning of the "X" added to the code is not known. Note the bulge at the bow.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
This F-5-L has all the modifications to the fin and rudder and hull. The station code is now carried on the hull and on the centre section of the chrome yellow coloured top wing. The "P" is thought to indicate "Patrol."
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The HR on the bow of this F-5-L denotes that it was assigned to Hampton Roads.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
This F-5-L, machine "03" has a colourful hull. Note the canvas covers on the airscrews.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The USS Wright was a flying boat depot ship. After launching in April 1920, the ship was converted to a lighter than an aircraft tender. The ship was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 16 December 1921. The ship had a balloon well built into the hull to enable a kite balloon to be carried by the ship. After discharging her kite balloon the ship acted as a seaplane tender.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The fin and rudder of this F-5-L display a dirty appearance unlike the hull. Note the access ladder leading to the side gunner's position.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The purpose of the bulge at the front of this F-5-L boat's hull is unknown at this time. The aircraft number "61" is repeated under the lower port wing.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
This F-5-L with modified fin and rudder carries the late national insignia and bears the last two numerals of its Bureau No. on the upper wing. Compare this aluminium doped wing with those painted chrome yellow. Note the black stripes at the outer interplane struts.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The top surface of the upper wing on this F-5-L has large chrome yellow patches. The aircraft code "83" is marked on the centre section but is not visible on the bow. Note the crewman standing in the front gunner's cockpit.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
This F-5-L appears to have white stripes applied over the basic Navy Grey finish. Note the ships in the background. The dazzle painted boats were operated with the fleet.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
With a striped hull that appears to have different colours on the hull and fin over the standard Navy Grey finish, this F-5-L has the large fin but retains the unbalanced rudder. There are two occupants in the front gunner's cockpit.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
This F-5-L has the strengthened hull with ply sides. Although it cannot be seen clearly there are some numerals on the forward rudder stripe. The Bureau No. was normally carried on the central white rudder stripe.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
The U.S. Navy's F.5.L. type Flying Boat ashore.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Capt Mustin, early USN aviator, leaving F-5-L No.4 in San Diego, March 1921, after Panama trip. Note the well worn hull painted a light colour on its upper surfaces.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A colourful F-5-L of the Atlantic Fleet Scouting Squadron coming up to the stern of the USS Shawmut seaplane tender at Guantanamo, Cuba, February 1921. The dark colour to the upper wing is thought to be chrome yellow. The Atlantic Fleet boats were given colourful hulls for the same reason that dazzle painting was adopted by the British in late 1918.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
An F-5-L on a seaplane barge (lighter), Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, circa 1921. This machine has a colourful hull and the large fin post-war modification. Note the two men on the upper wing and the trousers hanging out to dry under the starboard wing.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Another F-5-L in a colourful scheme. The upper wing has bands of light colour (white/aluminium dope?) and the skid fins have what appears to be an insignia on their outer side.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
Three-quarter front view of the U.S.A. Navy F-5-L flying-boat
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
Essentially an improved version of the Curtiss H-16, via the John Cyril Porte developed Felixstowe F 5, the first Navy Aircraft Factory F-5-L made its maiden flight in late July 1918. Powered by two 420hp Liberty 12As, the four man F-5-L carried six .303-inch Lewis guns for its defence, along with up to four 230lb bombs for more aggressive purposes. Top level speed of the F-5-L was 90mph at sea level, with a range of 830 miles being attainable at its economic cruise speed. Besides being responsible for the design's 'Americanisation' in terms of its production engineering, the Navy Aircraft Factory went on to produce 138 of these flying boats, of which 33 had been completed at the time of the Armistice, or just over three months after the F-5-L's first flight. Clearly considered a priority naval programme, 60 more F-5-Ls were built by Curtiss, while a further 30 were completed in Canada before post-war contract cancellations took effect.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
The F-5-L flying-boat in flight
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
Post-war scene of a Felixstowe boat flying over the ships in Harwich Harbour.
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An early F-5-L in flight in WWI colour scheme.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
"In the enemy's smoke." This F-5-L is flying above a smoke screen laid down by the warships during the June 1922 Fleet manoeuvres. The hull is brightly painted and the fabric surfaces appear to be aluminium doped. The top surface of the upper wing is chrome yellow.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A late F-5-L in flight with the enlarged fin and balanced rudder and external stringers to the rear hull. This machine is in post-war colours with star in circle national insignia.The illegible Bureau No. is carried on the fin.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
F-5-L flying a Rear Admiral's staff flags attached to the interplane struts and marked with two stars on the forward hull. This is Rear Admiral Moffett's aircraft. The rear hull gunner's opening has been extended. While this machine has the late hull and rudder modifications it retains the early fin.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The F-5-L was used for parachute training as shown here (probably early 1920s). The fish shape is the weight for the wireless trailing aerial.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Three flying boats and one floatplane may be made out on the water. Two of the boats are at the stern of the two ships.
G.Swanborough, P.Bowers - United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 /Putnam/
A 1924 photograph of a Curtiss F-5L with modified fin and rudder.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The station that this F-5-L came from is clearly marked on the hull along with the person who was using it for Christmas 1929. It would be interesting to know if it flew festooned as it is depicted here.
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Argentinean F-5-L serial B-8. Note markings under lower wing.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Argentinean F-5-L on board the Dedalo. Note the wing panels on the deck.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Argentinean F-5-L flying boats on board the Dedalo.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Brazilian F-5-L boats.
P.Bowers - Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947 /Putnam/
Curtiss installed tandem engines in one F-5L to test the concept before making modifications to the first two NC boats.
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F-5-L A-3864 with tandem engine installation. The rear engine has a four bladed propeller. Reported complete on 15 August 1919, by November A-3864 was undergoing tandem engine trials at the NAF. In June 1921 it was shipped to Hampton Roads where the trials were to continue. It was still with the Experimental Squadron on 27 April 1922, when it was awaiting propellers from the NAF. It is assumed that it was converted back to the normal engine installation as it was recorded with Scouting Squadron No.1 assigned to the USS Wright in May to November 1923. On 27 March 1924, Hampton Roads reported that the vertical keel and a large percentage of the thwart ships frames and longitudinals had deteriorated due to constant contact with water. All bottom planking was in need of replacement. It was recommended that the hull be reconditioned and placed in reserve. Another report on November 1925 stated that the boat had been erected in 1919 and used as a station plane until 1921.The vertical keel, etc., were rotten and the boat was in a deteriorated condition. On 27 February 1926 it was stricken from the list of naval aircraft.
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Davis recoilless gun fitted on an F-5-L.
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A-3882 on display at the Smithsonian. Note the Aeromarine floatplane in the background.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-3882 in storage at Silver Hill, Maryland. A-3882 was built at the NAF with half of the hull not planked and open for inspection. As at 30 September 1918, A-3579 to A-4035 were reported as 0-80% complete. Expected completion was 10.18 to 06.19. A-3882 was constructed with half the hull open for inspection. On 21 February 1919, A-3882 was ordered to be shipped to the Aeronautical Exhibition, NY. In July 1920 A-3882 that had "been on exhibition at various aero shows during the last two years and is complete in every detail and fully equipped with machine guns, bomb racks, etc.,"was to be presented to the Smithsonian Institute. On 2 October 1920 the boat was shipped to the Washington Navy Yard and received for the Smithsonian Inst. On 8 September 1921, the flying boat was left at Hampton Roads. Engines 03219 and 04573. It was reported as unfit for service due to the length of time it had spent in storage on 4 December 1922. Repair and replacement would not be economical. To Smithsonian for display. Aircraft and engines to be stricken and be allowed remain for display purposes. 17th saw the boat officially stricken. Was displayed in Smithsonian but is presently in storage at Silver Hill, Maryland.
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A-3882 in storage at Silver Hill, Maryland.
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A-3882 in storage at Silver Hill, Maryland.
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A-3882 in the Smithsonian's storage facility at Silver Hill, Maryland.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The Sampaio Correia over New York on leaving for the flight on 17 August 1922.
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C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The crew of the Sampaio Correia. The H-16 was decorated with the US and Brazilian flags. Walter Hinton (second from the left) and his crew in New York on the day they left on their flight to Brazil.
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The sad end of the first Sampaio Correia.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A-3600 the "Denby Ship" was converted to a passenger configuration at the NAF. Note the containers under the lower wings. In November 1918 this machine was reported as 60% complete. By 8 August 1921, this boat was converted to a passenger ship for the Secretary of the Navy and had been flown at the NAF with ten persons. On 20 September 1921, was shipped to Anacostia. On 30 December 1921, Lt F.H. Becker reported that controllability was bad and requested an investigation. In June 1922 Anacostia recommended it be replaced by a standard F-5-L as "its carrying capacity and controls are below that of standard F-5-L." It appears that it was placed in storage at the NAF and offered for sale in 1924. It was stricken on 2 July 1925. (G648)
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The cylinder under the wing of this converted F-5-L appears to be a storage container and while its purpose is unknown it appears to be the same as A-3600. (NAS Anacostia photographs 1922).
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Postwar passenger conversion of an H-16. The pilot's cockpit was relocated between the wings and the entire forward hull converted to a passenger cabin.
This modification did away with the gunner's position in the nose replacing it with a hatch that opened for mooring.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
Close-up of the nose of an H-16 hull. The change in colour of the hull as it passes through each stage of construction should be noted.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
The gap between the cockpit canopy and the rear was a distinguishing feature of the H-16 in flight. The F.2A has a small window that was raised here.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
The front cockpit of an H-16 under construction at the NAF. Note the seat frames and dual controls.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
Detail of the nose of a n NAF H-16. These boats have a spigot mount for the Lewis gun rather than a gun ring. A Wimperis bomb sight is located on the side of the hull. The hull has been given a gloss varnish finish.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
The bomb sight is on the opposite side of this H-16. The instrument on the nose of this NAF built hull is unknown.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
An H-16 hull that still has to have the rear of the hull fabric applied appears to be in Navy Grey finish.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
The Felixstowe F.2A was built in the USA as the Curtiss H-16 at the Curtiss Aeroplane Co, Buffalo, and at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia.This photograph shows H-16 hulls at the Curtiss Austin St Plant's Boat Room. Photo No.821 dated 01.11.18.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
A view of the NAF shows less clutter. Each hull has been tagged with the boat's Bureau No.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
The hull frame is ready for skinning on the left and skinned hulls are coming back down the centre. Bureau No. A-1077 can be read on the visible tag.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
H-16 hulls in the NAF. This photograph gives some idea of the size of the USN's production program.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
H-16 boats under construction.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
The NAF was proud of its employment of women in its construction program.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
The job of packing these large flying boats for shipment was a task in and of itself. The hull was placed in on its side as shown. It is interesting in that this hull has only a single control wheel. Note the "Walking Board" stencil across the hull. It is not known if this was retained when the machines were assembled. The hulls were crated on their side as shown below.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
Loading a rail car with H-16 crated parts.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
H-16 parts packed and ready to be shipped out. The stencils that can be read on the crate state that they are for H-16 Bureau Nos. A-1044 and A-1077. Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corp photo No.1223 dated May 1918.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
Crated H-16 on board a ship. The pyramid structure is over the sub-wing as the hulls are crated on their sides. Despite the efforts at making the crates water tight, boats arrived with water damage, but more serious was that the machines arrived with parts missing hence causing delays into moving the flying boats into service.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
A Liberty engine packed for shipment.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Detail view of the F-5-L flying-boat, showing the engines and rear "cabin"
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Construction of F-5-L hulls; progressing from right to left the stringers are added then the planking to the bottom of the hull.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
F-5-L hull construction at the NAF.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Three views showing the construction of the hull of the F-5-L flying-boat
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
F-5-L hull construction at the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corp, 17 October 1918.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Views of the planking and ply sides to an F-5-L hull at the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co, 27 August 1918. The hull was constructed upside down. Note the US flag suspended in the factory, a common practice at the time. Also the large jigs and clutter in these early factories is very evident here.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Tail surfaces added to the F-5-L hull.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Close-up of nose of F-5-L under construction at the Curtiss Aeroplane & motor Co, 31 October 1918. The background has been eliminated on the original negative to show the forward section to advantage.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
F-5-L under construction.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
View of the cockpit in an F-5-L hull under construction showing the left hand pilot's seat and controls.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
View inside an F-5-L hull under construction showing the complex structure of the centre hull at the wing roots.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
The petrol tanks and windmill pumps on the F-5-L flying-boat, which are located in the centre of the hull
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corp's F5L Boat Hull Department, 31 October 1918. Twelve hulls in various stages of completion may be seen.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
F-5-L hulls at the Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Corp. As the hulls progress down the line the tail surfaces are added. Curtiss Photo No.1874.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
An F-5-L hull packed for shipment.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Uncovered upper wing panels at the NAF. Note the large crate being constructed in the background.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Above: Construction of a lower wing for an F-5-L at the Navy Aircraft Factory (NAF). The two men are laying a straight edge over the wing and checking the tolerances. Note the smooth finish of the covered wing in the background. Rib tapes are not visible.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Constructing a wing-tip float for an F-5-L.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
A completed wing-tip float.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
F-5-L boat construction at Canadian Aeroplane Ltd.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
Internal view of the cockpit of an H-16 with dual control.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
View taken on an H-16 in flight. The dual control wheels are visible through the cockpit canopy.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The first H-16 from the NAF is ready for launching. The early H-16 boats had a gooseneck spigot mount for the front Lewis gun. This was replaced by a Searff ring on the boats that went to Europe.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The front gun position on an H-16 with US produced Scarff ring mount for the Lewis gun.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
View taken on an H-16 in flight.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
Internal view showing the Lewis gun stowed on an H-16. Note the flare holder rail above the gun.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Ens W.A. Gus Read demonstrating an experimental machine gun mount on the rear of an H-16. The awkward gallows mount for rear protection is operated by the rating in the side window. The wing walks on the root of the lower wing and the cloth wrapped engine support struts are noteworthy.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
The rear armament on the F-5-L.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
Lewis guns on the Gallows outrigger mounts on an F-5-L.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
View of the pilot's and wireless operator's quarters on the F-5-L flying-boat
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
N4067 was one of the few Curtiss built H-16 that saw actual service in British hands. Delivered to Felixstowe in April 1918, this boat was sent to Killingholme in June where it was allocated to the USN. It crashed on the way to Dundee on 20 October 1918. It is assumed that this is the incident in the photograph. The first pilot and engineer are thought to have died in the accident; unfortunately, the names of the crew have not been located to date. (Ens Raymond L Atwood collection/Emil Buehler Library)
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
USS Sandpiper with remains of an F-5-L boat, 13 November 1920. The dazzle markings of this flying boat can just be made out on the rear hull.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.1 /Centennial Perspective/ (1)
Curtiss H-16 Cutaway Showing the Structure
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Diagrams of the fuel installation on the F-5-L flying-boat
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
From the US NAVY Manual of the H-16
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
From the US NAVY Manual of the H-16
O.Thetford - British Naval Aircraft since 1912 /Putnam/
Curtiss H.16
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
THE U.S.A. NAVY F-5-L FLYING-BOAT. - Drawings of the hull.
C.Owers - The Fighting America Flying Boats of WWI Vol.2 /Centennial Perspective/ (2)
From the US Navy Manual on the F-5-L
P.Bowers - Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947 /Putnam/
Model F-5L.
G.Swanborough, P.Bowers - United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 /Putnam/
Curtiss F.5L
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
THE U.S.A. NAVY F-5-L FLYING-BOAT. Plan, front and side elevations to scale