Curtiss E-4, In-Line 4 Engine

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    Curtiss E-4, In-Line 4 Engine

    Type: Reciprocating, in-line, 4 cylinders, water-cooled Power rating: 14.9 KW (20 hp) at 450 rpm Displacement: 6.4 L ( 393 cu in.) Bore and Stroke: 127 mm (5 in.) x 127 mm (5 in.) Weight: 114 kg (250 lb)

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    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Curtiss E-4, In-Line 4 Engine

    Type: Reciprocating, in-line, 4 cylinders, water-cooled Power rating: 14.9 KW (20 hp) at 450 rpm Displacement: 6.4 L ( 393 cu in.) Bore and Stroke: 127 mm (5 in.) x 127 mm (5 in.) Weight: 114 kg (250 lb)

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Display Status:

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

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.