Felixstowe F5L

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Felixstowe F5L
Naval Air Station at Pensacola.jpg
Curtiss F.5L Patrol plane at Pensacola Naval Air Station
Role Military flying boat
Manufacturer Naval Aircraft Factory (137)
Curtiss Aircraft (60) and
Canadian Aeroplanes Limited (30)
Designer John Cyril Porte
First flight 1918
Introduction 1918
Primary users US Navy
Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company (Aeromarine 75)
Number built 227
Developed from Felixstowe F.5
F5L under construction at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, circa 1920.
Aeromarine 75 on regular flights in the Caribbean.
Arrival at Guantanamo from Panama

The twin-engine F5L was one of the Felixstowe F series of flying boats developed by John Cyril Porte at the Seaplane Experimental Station, Felixstowe, England during the First World War for production in America.

Design and development[edit]

Porte had taken the Curtiss H.12, an original design by the American Glenn Curtiss and developed them into a practical series of flying boats at the Felixstowe station. They then took their F.5 model and further redesigned it with better streamlining, a stronger hull using veneer instead of doped linen and U.S.-built 330 hp (later 400 hp) Liberty 12A engines. The prototype was built and tested in England and the design then taken over by the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, where further modifications were made to suit their production methods under wartime conditions.[1] The American-built version was also known as the Curtiss F5L and (in civilian operation) as the Aeromarine 75.

The F5L was built by the Naval Aircraft Factory (137), Curtiss (60) and Canadian Aeroplanes Limited (30). Some were converted for civilian use by the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company in 1919.

Operational history[edit]

The F5L entered USN service at the end of the war and was the U.S. Navy’s standard patrol aircraft until 1928, when it was replaced by the PN-12. In civil service, named the Aeromarine 75, the Felixstowe F5L could accommodate 10 passengers and was operated by Aeromarine Airways on flights from Key West to Havana, carrying the first U.S. Post Office international air mail on flights from New York City to Atlantic City, and from Cleveland to Detroit.

Operators[edit]

 Argentina
 United States

Survivors[edit]

Both a hull and float from a US Navy F5L have been preserved at the National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian). The hull is only partially skinned with wood to reveal structure. Both artifacts are presently in storage and not available for public display.[2][3]

Specifications[edit]

Data from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 12-14 passengers
  • Length: 49 ft 4 in (15.04 m)
  • Wingspan: 103 ft 9 in (31.62 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 9 in (5.72 m)
  • Wing area: 1,397 sq. ft (129.8 m²)
  • Empty weight: 8,720 lb (3,955 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 14,334 lb (6,508 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Liberty L-12A V-12 water-cooled piston engines, 400 hp (kW) each

Performance

  • Range: 830 mi (1335 km)

Armament

  • Patrol only

See also[edit]

Related development

Felixstowe F.2a
Naval Aircraft Factory PN

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "USA Navy F-5-L Flying Boat." Flight, 31 July 1919, pp. 1024–1026.
  2. ^ a b "Felixstowe (NAF) F-5-L (hull only)." Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian). Retrieved: 4 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Float, Felixstowe F5L." Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian). Retrieved: 4 February 2011.
Bibliography

External links[edit]

Media related to Felixstowe F5L at Wikimedia Commons