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Curtiss N-9H

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This object is on display in the Pre-1920 Aviation exhibition station at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.


The Curtiss N-9H was a seaplane version of the famous Curtiss JN-4D trainer used by the U.S. Air Service during the First World War. To make the conversion, a single large central pontoon was mounted below the fuselage, with a small float fitted under each wingtip. These changes required a 10-foot increase in wingspan to compensate for the additional weight.

During the war, 2,500 Navy pilots were trained on the N-9H. In addition to training a generation of Navy pilots, the N-9H was used to develop tactics for ship-borne aircraft operations in 1916 and 1917, using catapults mounted on armored cruisers. After the war, the airplane was again employed to successfully demonstrate a compressed air turntable catapult. In July 1917, several N-9Hs were acquired by the Sperry Gyroscope Company and were used as test vehicles for aerial torpedo experiments conducted for the Navy's Bureau of Ordnance. The N-9H was withdrawn from the U.S. Navy inventory in 1927 after ten years of exemplary service.

Transferred from the U.S. Navy Department.

Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane Company

Date: 1916-1927

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Wingspan: 16.2 m (53 ft 4 in)
Length: 9.4 m (30 ft 10 in)
Height: 3.3 m (10 ft 9 in)
Weight: Empty, 973 kg (2,140 lb)
Gross, 1,257 kg (2,765lb)

Materials: Airframe: Wood Main Float: Wood Covering: Fabric

Physical Description:Single-engine, two-seat, U.S.-built World War I naval trainer and bomber aircraft; 150-horsepower Hispano-Suiza engine. Large single main float and two small wing tip floats. Gray overall except for right side and lower right wing covered in clear material to show structure.

Inventory number: A19630431000

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