Curtiss T-32 Condor II

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T-32 Condor II
Curtiss YC-30 Condor front.jpg
A USAAC YC-30 in 1933
Role Biplane transport and bomber
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
First flight 30 January 1933
Number built 45
Developed from B-2 Condor

The Curtiss T-32 Condor II was a 1930s American biplane airliner and bomber aircraft built by the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. It was used by the United States Army Air Corps as an executive transport.

Development[edit]

The Condor II was a 1933 two-bay biplane of mixed construction with a single vertical stabilizer and rudder, and retractable landing gear. It was powered by two Wright Cyclone radial engines. The first aircraft was flown on 30 January 1933 and a production batch of 21 aircraft were then built. The production aircraft were fitted out as 12-passenger luxury night sleeper transports. They entered service with Eastern Air Transport and American Airways, forerunners of Eastern Air Lines and American Airlines on regular night services for the next 3 years.

The Colombian Air Force operated three BT-32 equipped with floats in the Colombia-Peru War in 1933.

Two modified T-32s were bought by the United States Army Air Corps (designated YC-30) for use as executive transports. One Condor was converted with extra fuel tanks and used by the 1939-1941 United States Antarctic Service Expedition, and, unique for a Condor, had a fixed undercarriage to allow use on floats or skis. Some aircraft were later modified to AT-32 standard with variable-pitch propellers and improved engine nacelles. The AT-32D variant could be converted from sleeper configuration to daytime use with 15 seats. Four T-32s operating in the United Kingdom were pressed into service with the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of the World War II.

Eight bomber variants (BT-32) were built with manually operated machine gun turrets in the nose and above the rear fuselage. All these aircraft were exported. A military cargo version (CT-32) was also built for Argentina. It had a large loading door on the starboard side of the fuselage.

Variants[edit]

A USAAC YC-30 in 1933.
T-32
Production luxury night sleeper, 21 built including two as YC-30s
T-32C
Ten T-32s modified to AT-32 standard.
AT-32A
Variant with variable-pitch propellers and 710 hp (529 kW) Wright SGR-1820-F3 Cyclone engines, three built.
AT-32B
An AT-32 variant with 720 hp (537 kW) Wright SGR-1820-F2 Cyclone engines, three built.
AT-32C
An AT-32 variant, one built.
AT-32D
An AT-32 variant with 720 hp (537 kW) Wright SGR-1820-F3 Cyclone engines, one built.
AT-32E
AT-32 variant for the United States Navy as the R4C-1, two built.
BT-32
Bomber variant, eight built.
CT-32
Military cargo variant with large cargo door, three built.
YC-30
United States Army Air Corps designation for two T-32s.
Curtiss R4C-1
R4C-1
United States Navy designation for two AT-32Es (one for United States Marine Corps) both later to the United States Antarctic Survey.

Operators[edit]

Civil operators[edit]

 Chile
  • LAN-Chile three former American Airlines examples
 China
  Switzerland
 United Kingdom
 United States

Military operators[edit]

 Argentina
 China
 Colombia
 Honduras
 Peru
 United Kingdom
 United States

Specifications (BT-32)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Length: 49 ft 6 in (15.09 m)
  • Wingspan: 82 ft 0 in (24.99 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 4 in (4.98 m)
  • Wing area: 1,276 ft2 (118.54 m2)
  • Empty weight: 11,233 lb (5,095 kg)
  • Gross weight: 17,500 lb (7,938 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Wright SGR-1820-F3 Cyclone radial piston engine, 710 hp (529 kW) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 176 mph (283 km/h)
  • Range: 840 miles (1,352 km)
  • Service ceiling: 22,000 ft (6,705 m)

Armament

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]

Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Curtiss Condor". Aeroplane (IPC Media) (July 2010): p88–89. 2010. 
  • Andrade, John M. U.S.Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Earl Shilton, Leicester, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9. (Page 63 and 214)
  • Bowers, Peter M. Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947. London: Putnam & CompanyLtd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-10029-8.
  • Taylor, H.A. "The Uncompetitive Condor" AirEnthusiast Six, March-June 1978. Bromley, Kent, UK: Pilot Press Ltd., 1978.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing, 1985.

External links[edit]