NAVY CURTISS (NC-4)

 

Home Research For Teachers HISTORY
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
PRINCIPLES
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
CAREER
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Search Hot Links What's New!
Gallery Feedback Admin/Tools

Please let me remind all of you--this material is copyrighted. Though partially funded by NASA, it is still a private site. Therefore, before using our materials in any form, electronic or otherwise, you need to ask permission.
There are two ways to browse the site: (1) use the search button above to find specific materials using keywords; or,
(2) go to specific headings like history, principles or careers at specific levels above and click on the button. 
Teachers may go directly to the Teachers' Guide from the For Teachers button above or site browse as in (1) and  (2).

FAQnewred.gif (906 bytes)          


NAVY CURTISS (NC-4)

Navy_curtiss.jpg (3756 bytes)

The NC-4, a United States Navy flying boat constructed in 1918 by the Glenn Curtiss Company, was the first aircraft ever to complete a successful flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Unlike the epic solo flight of Charles A. Lindbergh some eight years later, the crossing of the NC-4 was not made nonstop but, rather, was achieved in a kind of hop, skip and a jump that required almost two weeks to complete.

The NC (Navy Curtiss) flying boats were produced after Rear Admiral David Taylor, then the Navy's chief of construction and repair, determined in 1917 that the United States needed a seaplane capable of flying across the Atlantic to strike at German U-boats in European coastal waters. In less than a year, Curtiss turned out the first of his remarkably advanced craft.

The NC flying boats, which carried a five-man crew, featured a highly efficient, streamlined fuselage (actually a hull) that proved to be exceptionally seaworthy.  Powered by four 12-cylinder, 400-horsepower Liberty engines, the NC-4 was a biplane with a box-like, tail assembly that was mounted on outrigger booms extending aft from the hull and upper wing.

In May 1919, three Curtiss flying boats--the NC1,NC-3 and NC-4--took off from Newfoundland, and headed for the Port of Horta in the Azores, nearly 1,400 air miles to the southeast.  Their ultimate destination was Plymouth, England.  To assist the three flight crews in navigating their way across the open ocean, a fleet of nearly 70 U.S. Navy destroyers was deployed at 50-mile intervals along their route.

Of the three planes, only the NC-4--under the command of Lieutenant Commander Albert Read--made it safely  into Horta.  From there it flew on to Lisbon, Portugal and finally landed at Plymouth, England on May 31.

Both the NC- I and NC-3 were forced down at sea in a heavy fog some 200 miles west of the Azores. The NC-1 foundered and sank after its crew had been picked up by a passing Greek freighter.  However, the NC-3 under Commander John Towers, who was in charge of the entire operation, was more fortunate. Towers and his men rigged a mast and sailed the NC-3 safely into Horta harbor.


The preceding information was extracted from the pamphlet,
"The Great Airplanes Sterling Silver Miniature Collection", published by The Franklin Mint, 1979.
Permission was granted to ALLSTAR by The Franklin Mint to use the preceding materials.
 
ALLSTAR maintains the copyright for the format in which the material is presented.


Send all comments to allstar@fiu.edu
1995-2017 ALLSTAR Network. All rights reserved worldwide.

Funded in part by Used with permission from The Franklin Mint

newben.gif (11399 bytes)

Updated: March 12, 2004