Orenco D

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Ray Wagner Collection Image (16004082564).jpg
Role Fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Orenco/Curtiss Aircraft
First flight 1919[1]
Number built 54 (4 prototypes, 50 production)

The Orenco D was an American biplane fighter aircraft, designed by Orenco and built by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. It was the first fighter type of completely indigenous design (as opposed to foreign types or American-built versions of foreign types) to enter US military service.


The D prototype was offered to the US Army Air Service at the end of 1918. It was a two-bay biplane of all-wood construction, covered with fabric. It was powered by a 300 hp (224 kW) Hispano-Suiza engine. The pilot of the first flight test, Clarence B. Coombs, gave it a positive evaluation: "This aircraft performs better than the Sopwith Camel and Snipe, the Thomas-Morse, the Nieuport and Morane Parasol, the Spad and S.V.A."[1] The military ordered 50 production aircraft, but put the production order up for bidding. Curtiss Aircraft entered the lowest bid and built the fighter, modifying it slightly with a wider wingspan and redesigned ailerons.[2] The first Curtiss Orenco D flew on 26 August 1921.[1]


Orenco D 
Prototype, four built[1]
Curtiss Orenco D 
Production aircraft, 50 built[2]
Orenco D2 
Prototype based on Curtiss Orenco D. three built, under military designation PW-3.[1]


 United States

Specifications (Curtiss Orenco D)[edit]

Data from Angelucci, 1987. p. 119.[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 21 ft 5.5 in (6.52 m)
  • Wingspan: 33 ft 0 in (10.05 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 4 in (2.54 m)
  • Wing area: 273 ft2 (25.36 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,908 lb (865 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,820 lb (1,279 kg)
  • Powerplant: one × Wright-Hispano H, 300 hp ( kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 139 mph (224 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 133 mph (214 km/h)
  • Range: 340 miles (547 km)
  • Service ceiling: 12,450 ft (3,795 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,140 ft/min (5.78 m/s)


  • 2x .30in machine guns


  1. ^ a b c d e Angelucci, 1987. pp. 378-380.
  2. ^ a b c Angelucci, 1987. p. 119.


  • Angelucci, Enzo (1987). The American Fighter from 1917 to the present. New York: Orion Books. pp. 378–380, 118–119. ISBN 0-517-56588-9.