Curtiss E-4, In-Line 4 Engine

It is believed this artifact is a 37 kW (50 hp) Curtiss E-4, operated at a lower than normal rotational speed. It was the first of Curtiss water-cooled engines, and the first of two engines to power the U.S. Army Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1, the first U.S. military airship. The engine drove a tubular steel shaft about 6.7 m (22 ft) long on which was mounted a wooden propeller designed by Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge.

In 1908, the Signal Corps awarded Thomas Baldwin a contract for the construction of an airship not to exceed 36.6 m (120 ft), to be completely maneuverable, and to obtain a speed of 32 km/hr (20 mph). Baldwin piloted the airship, and Glenn Curtiss was the engineer. In the official speed run, the Baldwin airship reached 31.38 km/hr (19.61 mph).

After service at Fort Meyer and Omaha, this engine was replaced by another Curtiss Model E-4 engine, also in the museum’s collection.

Gift of Charles R. Witteman.

Physical Description:
Weight: 114 kg (250 lb)

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
Designer
Glenn H. Curtiss

Date
1908

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Early Flight

Type
PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Dimensions
Roughly 3 ft x 3 ft x 2 ft, Weight: 114 kg (250 lb), Mounted on 72 in. Stand

It is believed this artifact is a 37 kW (50 hp) Curtiss E-4, operated at a lower than normal rotational speed. It was the first of Curtiss water-cooled engines, and the first of two engines to power the U.S. Army Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1, the first U.S. military airship. The engine drove a tubular steel shaft about 6.7 m (22 ft) long on which was mounted a wooden propeller designed by Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge.

In 1908, the Signal Corps awarded Thomas Baldwin a contract for the construction of an airship not to exceed 36.6 m (120 ft), to be completely maneuverable, and to obtain a speed of 32 km/hr (20 mph). Baldwin piloted the airship, and Glenn Curtiss was the engineer. In the official speed run, the Baldwin airship reached 31.38 km/hr (19.61 mph).

After service at Fort Meyer and Omaha, this engine was replaced by another Curtiss Model E-4 engine, also in the museum’s collection.

Gift of Charles R. Witteman.

Physical Description:
Weight: 114 kg (250 lb)

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
Designer
Glenn H. Curtiss

Date
1908

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Early Flight

Type
PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary

Dimensions
Roughly 3 ft x 3 ft x 2 ft, Weight: 114 kg (250 lb), Mounted on 72 in. Stand

ID: A19310062000