Seversky SEV-3

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Seversky SEV-3XAR at Wright Field in 1934.jpg
Role Three-seat amphibian
National origin United States
Manufacturer Seversky Aircraft
Designer Alexander Kartveli
First flight 1933

The Seversky SEV-3 was an American three-seat amphibian monoplane, the first aircraft designed and built by the Seversky Aircraft Corporation.

Design and development[edit]

The SEV-3 was an all-metal cantilever low-wing monoplane powered by a nose-mounted 420 hp (313 kW) Wright J-6 Whirlwind radial engine. It had two cockpits in tandem, forward for the pilot and the rear cockpit for two passengers, both with a sliding canopies. It could either be fitted with twin amphibious floats which had main wheels fitted in the floats to allow it to operate from land or with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage with the mainwheels enclosed in large fairings.[1]

The SEV-3 first flew as a floatplane in June 1933 demonstrating excellent performance as both an amphibian and a landplane.[2] It was built in small numbers mainly for export.

Alexander de Seversky standing before the SEV-3XAR, autumn 1934

Operational history[edit]

An SEV-3 established a world speed record for a piston-engined amphibians in 1933 and on 15 September 1935 a Wright Cyclone powered SEV-3 set a record of 230 mph (370.8 km/h) which stood for 49 years. A landplane version was also developed with a conventional landing gear.[3]

The design influenced a long-line of Seversky then Republic aircraft leading to the P-47 Thunderbolt. A landplane version was used by the United States Army Air Corps as a basic trainer with the designation BT-8.




Amphibian for the Colombian Air Force, six built.
Landplane basic-trainer for the United States Army Air Corps, 30 built.

Specifications (BT-8)[edit]


Data from United States Military Aircraft since 1909[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 24 ft 4 in (7.42 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.98 m)
  • Wing area: 220 ft2 (20.4 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,017 lb (1,317 kg)
  • Gross weight: 4,050 lb (1,841 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-11 Waspo Junior, 450 hp (336 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 175[5] mph (282 km/h)

See also[edit]

Related development
Related lists


  1. ^ Green and Swanborough Air Enthusiast Ten, pp. 9–10.
  2. ^ Green and Swanborough Air Enthusiast Ten, p. 9.
  3. ^ "Amphibian Flies Nearly Four Miles a Minute" Popular Mechanics, December 1935
  4. ^ Swanborough and Bowers 1963, p. 527.
  5. ^ at sea level
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. "The end of the beginning...The Seversky P-35". Air Enthusiast, Ten, July–September 1979, pp. 8–21.
  • Howson, Gerald. "A Seversky in the Spanish War". Air Enthusiast, Eighteen, April–July 1982, pp. 32–36.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985) London: Orbis Publishing, 1985.
  • Swanborough, F.G. and Peter M. Bowers. United States Military Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, 1963.
  • Taylor, Michael J.H. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions, 1989. ISBN 0-517-69186-8.