Curtiss Conqueror V-1550, V-12 Engine


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

Glenn Curtiss of Hammondsport, New York, who built and raced bicycles early in the twentieth century, later raced, designed and built motorcycles and motorcycle engines. The first Curtiss aircraft powered a small dirigible in 1904. The Model V-1550 was the prototype of the highly successful Model V-1570 Conqueror. Curtiss and the U.S. Navy's Aeronautical Engine Laboratory tested this engine, manufacturer's number 2, in Philadelphia in 1927. Curtiss installed the Conqueror in many high-performance military aircraft in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

The Conqueror, an outgrowth of the famous D-12, which largely resulted from Curtiss collaborations with Charles B. Kirkham and Arthur Nutt, was the last of the Curtiss liquid-cooled engine series to enter production. Between 1931 and 1937, Curtiss manufactured 681 Conqueror engines with both direct and geared drives that powered high-performance military and racing aircraft. The geared Conqueror G1V-1570-F powered the Douglas YO-31A and C, Douglas XO-35 and Y1O-35, and Douglas Y1O-43.

Collection Item Long Description:


Circa 1927

Inventory Number


Physical Description

  • Type: Reciprocating, 12 cylinders, V-type, Liquid cooled
  • Power rating: 485 kW (650 hp) at 2,500 rpm
  • Displacement: 25.8 L (1,575 cu in)
  • Bore and Stroke: 130 mm (5.1 in.) x 159 mm (6.2 in.)
  • Weight: 315 kg (695 lb)

Credit Line

Transferred from the U.S. Navy, Naval Supply Center, Norfolk, Virginia.

Country of Origin

United States of America


Steel, Aluminum, Rubber, Copper, Paint, Preservative coating, Textile


Height 99.8 cm (39.31 in.), Width 75.2 cm (29.63 in.), Depth 162.6 cm (64 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


PROPULSION-Reciprocating & Rotary