Curtiss Seagull-Seamew

The Curtiss SOC Seagull was a United States single-engined scout observation biplane aircraft, designed by Alexander Solla of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation for the United States Navy. The aircraft served on battleships and cruisers in a seaplane configuration, being launched by catapult and recovered from a sea landing. The wings folded back against the fuselage for storage aboard ship. When based ashore or on carriers the single float was replaced by fixed wheeled landing gear. Curtiss delivered 258 SOC aircraft, in versions SOC-1 through SOC-4, beginning in 1935. When the SOC had been replaced by the OS2U Kingfisher, most remaining airframes were converted into trainers, and were used until 1945. But in a strange twist of history, with the failure of the Curtiss SO3C Seamew, many SOCs in second line service were returned to front line units starting in late 1943 and saw service aboard warships in the combat zone for the rest of World War II. This is one of the few instances in aviation history of an older aircraft type that was retired or sent to second line service, replacing the new aircraft type, that was supposed to replace it! The Curtiss SO3C Seamew was developed by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation as a replacement for the SOC Seagull as the United States Navy's standard floatplane scout. Curtiss named the SO3C the Seamew. One of the US Navy's main design requirements was that the SOC Seagull's replacement had to be able to operate both from ocean vessels with a single center float and from land bases with the float replaced by a wheeled landing gear. From the time it entered service the SO3C suffered two serious flaws: in-flight stability problems and problems with the unique Ranger air-cooled V-shaped inline engine. Poor flight performance and a poor maintenance record led to the SO3C being withdrawn from US Navy first line units by 1944. The older biplane SOC was taken from state-side training units and restored to first-line service on many US Navy warships until the end of World War II. Info: Wikipedia Profiles: Wings Palette

Curtiss Seagull-Seamew
Roelf, Jun 28, 2011
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