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United States' Curtiss SO3C Seagull, Seamew floatplane

Photos

Curtiss SO3C Seagull returning to its ship after directing fire at Casablanca:
United States' Curtiss SO3C Seagull returning to its ship after directing fire at Casablanca
United States Army in World War II, Pictorial Record, The War Against Germany and Italy: Mediterranean and Adjacent Areas, 1951, pg 21
Curtiss-Wright SO3C-1 Seagull floatplane:
United States' Curtiss-Wright SO3C-1 Seagull floatplane
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Curtiss-Wright SO3C-1 Seagull floatplane:
United States' Curtiss-Wright SO3C-1 Seagull floatplane
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Design

The Curtiss SO3C Seamew was developed to replace the Curtiss SOC Seagull scouting biplanes.1 The Curtiss-Wright SO3Cs were constructed in two versions, one with floats and the other as a land based aircraft.2

Prototype

The XSO3C-1 prototype first flew on October 6, 1939.1 It had a floatplane and under wing outriggers.1

There were severe stability problems and upturned wingtips and larger tail surfaces were added.1

Production

Production stopped in January 1944.1

  • XSO3C-1: 11
  • SO3C-1: 1411
  • SO3C-2: 2001
  • SO3C-2C: 3591
  • SO3C-3: 391
  • Total: 7401

Variants

  • XSO3C-1: Prototype.1
  • SO3C-1: Deliveries started in July 1942.1
  • SO3C-2: Had arrestor gear for carrier operations.1
  • SO3C-2C / Seamew Mk I: Had new electronics, brakes, and radio.1
  • SO3C-1K / Queen Seamew: Conversions to target drones.1

Usage

Britain and the United States used the Curtiss SO3C Seamew.1

The SO3C was only used for 2 years.1 Due to their poor service they were converted into target drones.1 Their replacement was the Curtiss SOC Seagull biplanes that were brought out of mothballs.1

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom gave the SO3C the name Seamew, which replaced what it was originally called, the Seagull.1

The Royal Navy was delivered 100 out of 250 Seamews ordered.1 They were used only for training.1

Specifications

  Curtiss SO3C Seagull
Type Scout and observation floatplane1
Crew 21
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 38'1
11.58 m1
Length 35' 8"1
10.87 m1
Height 14' 2"1
4.32 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Forward firing 1: 0.3" MG1
Rear cockpit 1: 0.3" MG1
OR 1: 0.5" MG1
Bombs - under wings 2: 100 lb1
2: 45 kg1
OR  
Depth charges - under wings 325 lb1
147 kg1
Under fuselage on land plane 500 lb1
227 kg1
  Curtiss SO3C-1 Seamew
Type Scout Observation2
Crew  
Engine (Type) 1: Ranger2
1: Ranger V-770-61
Cylinders In line2, V 121
Cooling Air2
HP 5201,2
Propeller blades 21
Dimensions  
Span 38'2
Length 34' 2"2
Height 11' 5"2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 5,700 lb2
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Curtiss SO3C-2 Seamew
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Ranger V-770-61
Cylinders V 121
Cooling  
HP 5201
Propeller blades 21
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed at sea level  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Curtiss SO2C-2C Seamew
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Ranger V-770-201
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 6001
Propeller blades 21
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,995 lb1
2,266 kg1
Loaded 7,000 lb1
3,175 kg1
Performance  
Speed at sea level 150 mph1
241 kph1
Speed @ 8,100' /
2,470 m
172 mph1
277 kph1
Cruising speed 125 mph1
201 kph1
Climb 720'/minute1
219 m/minute1
Service ceiling 15,800'1
4,815 m1
Range 1,150 miles1
1,850 km1
Armament  
  Curtiss SO3C-3 Seamew
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Ranger V-770-201
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 6001
Propeller blades 21
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site