The Curtiss Autoplane, invented by Glenn Curtiss in 1917, is widely considered the first attempt to build a roadable aircraft. Although the vehicle was capable of lifting off the ground, it never achieved full flight.
|Autoplane as shown at Pan-American Aeronautical Exposition of 1917|
|National origin||United States|
Development and designEdit
The Autoplane was a triplane, using the wings from a Curtiss Model L trainer, with a small foreplane mounted on the aircraft's nose. The Autoplane's aluminum body resembled a Model T and had three seats in an enclosed cabin, with the pilot/chauffeur sitting in the front seat and the two passengers side-by side to the rear. It used a four-blade pusher propeller, and a twin-boom tail. A 100 horsepower (75 kW) Curtiss OXX engine drove the propeller via shaft and belts. The aircraft had a four-wheel undercarriage, with the front two wheels being steerable. The wings and tail could be detached for use as an automobile.
It was shown at the Pan-American Aeronautic Exposition at New York City in February 1917. It made a few short hops before the entry of the United States into World War I in April 1917 ended development of the Autoplane.
Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Length: 27 ft (8.2 m)
- Wingspan: 40 ft 6 in (12.34 m)
- Height: 10 ft (3.0 m)
- Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss OXX water-cooled V8 engine, 100 hp (75 kW)
- Maximum speed: 65 mph (105 km/h, 56 kn)
- Freedman, David H. (July 2000), "This is rocket science", Inc, 22 (10): 74–88
- Vinciguerra, Thomas (12 Apr 2009), "Ideas & Trends; Idea Whose Time Has Never Come", The New York Times, p. WK.5
- Bowers 1979, p. 75.
- "Glenn Curtiss Sees a Vision of Aviation's Future", Popular Science, July 1927
- Espinoza, Javier (15 September 2011), "An Idea Without Wings; Progress has been made, but the idea of cruising at altitude over the afternoon rush-hour is far from becoming a reality", Wall Street Journal, p. R.4
- Glines, C V; Wilkinson, Stephan (September 2008), "The Road Not Taken", Aviation History, 19 (1): 38–45
- Bowers 1979, p. 76.
- "At The American Aero Show – Some New Types: The Curtiss Autoplane". Flight. Vol. IX no. 429. March 15, 1917. p. 245.
- Bowers 1979, pp. 75–76.
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- Glenn H. Curtiss: Autoplane, patent filed February 14, 1917; issued February 18, 1919