Curtiss D-III Headless Pusher Rudder and Vertical Stabilizer

Canvas-covered tail of Curtiss D-III Headless Pusher
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In 1911, Curtiss continued the evolution of the pusher design with the development of the D-II (the Golden Flyer was considered the Model D) and the D-III, to which a second set of elevators were added to the rear in place of the fixed horizontal stabilizer. The Curtiss D-III Headless Pusher resulted from an accident incurred by noted exhibition pilot, Lincoln Beachey. While flying in a competition with a standard Curtiss D-III, Beachey hit a fence upon landing and destroyed the front elevator. Rather than drop out, Beachey continued to fly without the front elevator control and found that the aircraft performed better than before. Highlighted in this image is the rudder and vertical stabilizer of the Curtiss D-III Headless Pusher.




Eric Long

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