Dayton-Wright OW.1 Aerial Coupe
|OW.1 Aerial Coupe|
|United States Air Force Photo|
|Role||three-seat touring aircraft|
The Dayton-Wright OW.1 Aerial Coupe was an American four-seat touring aircraft built by the Dayton-Wright Company of Dayton, Ohio. Because it was the last aircraft designed by Orville Wright, the design was given the designation OW.1. The aircraft was based on a heavily modified De Havilland DH.4. Although only one was produced, the Dayton-Wright OW.1 marks the first working example of a civilian single-engine four passenger light cabin aircraft.
Design and development
Following up on a wartime contract to build the British DH.4 under license, the Dayton-Wright Company looked at development of the type for civil use. One version was designed by Orville Wright. Designated the OW.1 Aerial Coupe (OW standing for Orville Wright), it was the last aircraft designed by one of the Wright brothers. Although based on the DH-4, it had lighter-weight wings, revised landing gear, and a shortened, smaller tail unit. The main difference was a new widened fuselage featuring an enclosed cabin. Initially designed for a forward pilot, with two passengers seated behind, the cabin was later modified to accommodate three passengers.
The Dayton-Wright OW.1 was refitted with a 150 hp Packard 8, and later equipped with an 180 hp (130 kW) Wright-Hisso E inline engine. The OW.1 set an altitude record of 19,710 ft (6,010 m) on 22 May 1921, flown by Dayton-Wright test pilot Bernard L. Whelan, and accompanied by three mechanics as passengers. The Aerial Coupe reached the record altitude after a 2 hr, 31 min flight over USAAC Test Center at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio.
Whelan and Howard Rinehart (another company test pilot) set up the Rinehart-Whelan Company at Moraine City, Ohio, and acquired the Aerial Coupe in 1923. A year later, John Montijo, a former Army instructor from Long Beach, California purchased the aircraft, and used parts from it to rebuild it, powered by a Hall-Scott L-6.
Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft
- Crew: 1 pilot
- Capacity: 3 passengers
- Length: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
- Wingspan: 46 ft 0 in (14.02 m)
- Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
- Wing area: 534 ft2 (49.61 m2)
- Empty weight: 1,450 lb (658 kg)
- Gross weight: 2,492 lb (1,130 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Wright-Hisso E V-8 water-cooled piston engine, 180 hp (134 kW)
- Maximum speed: 95 mph (153 km/h)
- Range: 500 miles (805 km)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- "Dayton-Wright" OW-1." Aerofiles, 27 July 2008. Retrieved: 29 August 2011.
- Cooper, Ralph. "Bernard L. Whelan, 1890-1983." Early Aviators, 13 July 2011. Retrieved: 29 August 2011.
- Minasian, Stephanie. "Fifth District Makes Plans To Celebrate Early Feat In Aviation." gazettes.com. 27 July 2011. Retrieved: 29 August 2011.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft 1985, p. 1339.
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