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Aircraft Topics related to WWI aircraft, aircraft engines and armament

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Old 13 October 2003, 12:25 PM   #1
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The USA had plans afoot to build a great number of warplanes. The only indigenous design to make it to Europe was the Curtis Flying boats. We also built some Liberty engined DH 4 bombers. One Caproni was constructed. What other planes were contemplated?
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Old 13 October 2003, 02:32 PM   #2
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For starters:

Martin Bomber
Loening M8
Thomas Morse MB-3
Handley Page 0/400 variant
American variant of Bristol Fighter
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Old 14 October 2003, 09:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Perhaps I did not make myself clear. Other than the Curtis Flying Boats and DH4 Day Bombers were there any significant number built and sent to the WWI fronts? For example, the martin DB1 flew for the first time in August 1918. I can't imagine many or any making it to the Western Front.
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Old 14 October 2003, 10:27 AM   #4
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As far as I know, your list covered the lot. I think there were approx. 3,000 DH-4s built in the U.S., of which approx. 1,300 made it to France. I'm unsure of the number to actually see combat.

Many of the U.S. efforts to produce other plane designs met with abject failure. The urge at the time seemed to be to stuff a Liberty engine into anything with wings. The attempt to do so with the Bristol Fighter did not work.

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Old 14 October 2003, 10:47 AM   #5
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Although Charlie Lindbergh flew both the Liberty DH4 in his day job (airmail pilot) and SE5a's at the weekend in the National Guard, in the mid-1920s.

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Old 14 October 2003, 01:02 PM   #6
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On the other hand, the American DH-4 was a little better than the original. The Yank SE-5 was pretty good too, but never made it to the front. The potential capability of the American manufacturers was one of the factors that influenced the German decision to throw in the towel.
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Old 15 October 2003, 04:22 AM   #7
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Leo: I think the U.S. was simply behind in all facets of aviation. Everyone expected fleets of aircraft from our shores, but it never happened. Another odd facet to this was the reluctance of the Brits (not sure if this shoe fits the French et al.) to share too much technology with us. After all, the war would eventually end and competition to mine aviation markets needed cards played close to the vest.
Old 15 October 2003, 05:01 AM   #8
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Which engine was installed in the US built SE5a? I understand theta 300 HP Liberty based V8 was contemplated. Did it ever see service?
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Old 15 October 2003, 05:35 AM   #9
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Don't know if it saw service but it sure as hell didn't look like a lithe SE5* anymore
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Old 16 October 2003, 12:46 PM   #10
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Curtiss R-9 seaplane bombers (not a flying boat) were the first U.S. built aircraft in the war, but from what I can tell it never saw actual combat.
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