Wright Model T (for Tornado) development began in 1922 with a displacement of 32 liters (1947 cubic inches) and rated at 391 kW (525 shp); maintaining a reputation for many years as one of the most efficient water-cooled engines yet produced. T-3 development, produced in direct-drive and geared versions, began in 1923. It powered the Wright X0-3 Mohawk biplane, built for the 1924 Army competition for an experimental observation aircraft. However, proving to be overweight and under-powered for Army use, it failed to make the minimum required performance. Subsequently, for many years, this aircraft was used by Wright for engine flight testing.
The T-3 was also installed in place of a Liberty engine in three Douglas DT-2 torpedo bombers redesignated as SDW-1A; and a variation known as the T-M successfully introduced for marine work. Application in the Pulitzer Prize Race and Schneider Cup Race was not particularly successful, with two accidents suffered in the latter.