Curtiss R3C

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Curtiss R3C
Curtiss Racer NASA GPN-2000-001310.jpg
Curtiss R3C-2
Role Racing aircraft
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
First flight 18 September 1925
Introduction 1925
Primary users US Navy
US Army
Number built 3
Developed from Curtiss R2C

The Curtiss R3C was an American racing aircraft built in landplane and floatplane form. It was a single-seat biplane built by the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company.

The R3C-1[1] was the landplane version and Cyrus Bettis won the Pulitzer Trophy Race in one on 12 October 1925 with a speed of 248.9 mph (406.5 km/h).

The R3C-2 was a twin float seaplane built for the Schneider Trophy race. In 1925, it took place at Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore, Maryland. With 232.57 mph (374.274 km/h), pilot Jimmy Doolittle won the trophy with a Curtiss R3C-2. The other two R3C-2s, piloted by George Cuddihy and Ralph Oftsie, did not reach the finish line. The next day, with the same plane on a straight course, Doolittle reached 245.7 mph (395.4 km/h), a new world record. For the next Schneider Trophy, which took place on 13 November 1926, the R3C-2's engine was further improved, and pilot Christian Franck Schilt won second place with 231.364 mph (372.34 km/h).


Surviving R3C-2 is displayed at the NASM near Washington
 United States


The R3C-2 that Jimmy Doolitle piloted to victory in the 1925 Schneider Trophy race is preserved at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Centre, at Washington Dulles Airport, Virginia. It still wears its '3' 1925 racing number.

Specifications (R3C-2)

The R3C-3 at the Naval Aircraft Factory in 1926.
Curtiss R3C-2 at the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.

Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947[2]

General characteristics


See also

In culture

  • A Curtiss R3C appears in Hayao Miyazaki's Porco Rosso animated movie featuring a romanticized interwar aviation. The Curtiss R3C is flown by a pilot himself named Curtiss. The dialogues also reference the 1925 Schneider Trophy.


  1. ^ Also given the "paper" designation F3C as fighters in the US Navy designation system: Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p.127.
  2. ^ Bowers 1979, p.237
  • Angelucci, Enzo. World Encyclopedia of Civil Aircraft. London:Willow Books, 1984. ISBN 0-00-218148-7.
  • Bowers, Peter M. Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947. London:Putnam, 1979. ISBN 0-370-10029-8.
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Bowers, Peter M. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London:Putnam, 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.
  • The Golden Age of Aviation – Curtiss R3C-2
  • Pulitzer Trophy web site
  • Schneider Trophy 1925 web site (french)
  • German edition “Flugzeuge”, Enzo Angelucci, 1974 ISBN 3-8068-4024-5
  • results of the Schneider Trophy from the Society of Air Racing Historians

External links

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