Curtiss Model 41 Lark

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Curtiss Lark
Role Biplane
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
Introduction 1925
Number built 3
Developed from Curtiss Carrier Pigeon

The Curtiss Model 41 Lark was a commercial biplane manufactured by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company that was used by pioneering airmail, airline and bush pilots in the 1920s.

Development[edit]

The biplane was based on the Curtiss Carrier Pigeon, a purpose-built aircraft for airmail operations. The Lark also had a longer-span lower wing, similar to the Carrier Pigeon. Some models were converted to floatplane configuration with a central mounted pontoon and wing-mounted floats.[1]

A 200 hp Wright J-4 variant was tested for the United States Navy. The Navy considered this installation superior in performance to the Curtiss engined model.[2] This version eventually became the basis for the Curtiss Fledgling series of aircraft.[3]

Design[edit]

The biplane was made of welded tube with fabric covering. It was available with three engine choices, the Curtiss C-6, the Wright J-4 Whirlwind, and the Wright-Hisso E. All four wing panels were interchangeable, giving the aircraft its unusual longer lower wingspan and defining it as an inverted sequiplane.[4]

Operational history[edit]

Patrica Airways operated a Lark for early bushplane operations. The aircraft flew with floats in warm weather, and skis in the winter.[5] The aircraft was pressed into service as an early hearse once, with the cargo needing to be seated upside down in the open seat and secured with haywire.[6]

Florida Airways operated a Curtiss Lark Miss Tallahassee on its CAM-10 U.S. airmail route between Miami and Atlanta. The aircraft was bought to take the place of two lost Stout 2-AT Pullman aircraft that could not operate out of the poorly prepared airstrips.[7]

Colonial Air Transport owned a Curtiss Lark which was one of the first aircraft to be registered using the new Underwriters Laboratories all-letter system (1921 to 1923). This Lark, registered as N-AABC, was used on the CAM-1 U.S. airmail route.[8]

Specifications (Curtiss C-6 engine)[edit]

Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907 - 1947[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: three passengers
  • Length: 22 ft 2.5 in (6.769 m)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 7.5 in (9.335 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m)
  • Wing area: 264.3 sq ft (24.55 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,579 lb (716 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,708 lb (1,228 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss C-6 6-cyl water-cooled in-line piston engine, 160 hp (120 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 99 kn; 183 km/h (114 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 84 kn; 156 km/h (97 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3,800 m)
  • Rate of climb: 860 ft/min (4.4 m/s)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Géza Szurovy. Bushplanes. p. 29. ISBN 0-7603-1478-0. 
  2. ^ United States Naval Institute (1926). Vol 52 of Proceedings. 
  3. ^ "K through Z". Retrieved 16 Feb 2011. 
  4. ^ American Aviation Historical Society. AAHS journal, Volumes 18-19. 
  5. ^ Peter Pigott. Flying Canucks: famous Canadian aviators. ISBN 0-88882-175-1. 
  6. ^ Michael Barnes. Red Lake: Golden Treasure Chest. ISBN 1-897113-95-1. 
  7. ^ Walter David Lewis. Eddie Rickenbacker: an American hero in the twentieth century. ISBN 0-8018-8244-3. 
  8. ^ "the numbers racket". Retrieved 16 Feb 2011. 
  9. ^ Bowers, Peter M. (1979). Curtiss Aircraft 1907 - 1947 (1st ed.). London: Putnam & Company Ltd. pp. 196–197. ISBN 0-370-10029-8. 

References[edit]

  • Bowers, Peter M. (1979). Curtiss Aircraft 1907 - 1947 (1st ed.). London: Putnam & Company Ltd. pp. 196–197. ISBN 0-370-10029-8. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Canadian Aviation and Science Museum photos of the Curtiss Lark