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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. The Curtiss-Wright SO3Cs were constructed in two versions, one with floats and the other as a land based aircraft.

Prototype

The XSO3C-1 prototype first flew on October 6, 1939. It had a floatplane and under wing outriggers.

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

Production

Production stopped in January 1944.

  • XSO3C-1: 1
  • SO3C-1: 141
  • SO3C-2: 200
  • SO3C-2C: 359
  • SO3C-3: 39
  • Total: 740

Variants

  • XSO3C-1: Prototype.
  • SO3C-1: Deliveries started in July 1942.
  • SO3C-2: Had arrestor gear for carrier operations.
  • SO3C-2C / Seamew Mk I: Had new electronics, brakes, and radio.
  • SO3C-1K / Queen Seamew: Conversions to target drones.

Usage

Britain and the United States used the Curtiss SO3C Seamew.

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

United Kingdom

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

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

Specifications

  Curtiss SO3C Seagull
Type Scout and observation floatplane
Crew 2
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 38'
11.58 m
Length 35' 8"
10.87 m
Height 14' 2"
4.32 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Forward firing 1: 0.3" MG
Rear cockpit 1: 0.3" MG
OR 1: 0.5" MG
Bombs - under wings 2: 100 lb
2: 45 kg
OR  
Depth charges - under wings 325 lb
147 kg
Under fuselage on land plane 500 lb
227 kg
  Curtiss SO3C-1 Seamew
Type Scout Observation
Crew  
Engine (Type) 1: Ranger
1: Ranger V-770-6
Cylinders In line, V 12
Cooling Air
HP 520
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 38'
Length 34' 2"
Height 11' 5"
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 5,700 lb
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Curtiss SO3C-2 Seamew
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Ranger V-770-6
Cylinders V 12
Cooling  
HP 520
Propeller blades 2
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-770-20
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 600
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,995 lb
2,266 kg
Loaded 7,000 lb
3,175 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 150 mph
241 kph
Speed @ 8,100' /
2,470 m
172 mph
277 kph
Cruising speed 125 mph
201 kph
Climb 720'/minute
219 m/minute
Service ceiling 15,800'
4,815 m
Range 1,150 miles
1,850 km
Armament  
  Curtiss SO3C-3 Seamew
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Ranger V-770-20
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 600
Propeller blades 2
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