Consolidated O-17 Courier


O-17 Courier
Consolidated O-17 Maryland NG in flight 1931.jpg
A Maryland Air National Guard Consolidated O-17
Role Observation
Manufacturer Consolidated Aircraft Company
First flight April 1927
Primary users United States National Guard
Royal Canadian Air Force
Produced 1928
Number built 35
Developed from Consolidated PT-3

The Consolidated O-17 Courier (company designation Model 2) was an observation and training aircraft used by the United States National Guard.


A parallel development to the Consolidated PT-3 series, the XO-17 was a converted PT-3 with such refinements as improved fuselage streamlining, oleo shock absorbers, wheel brakes, balanced elevators and increased fuel capacity.[1]

It was used almost exclusively as a cross-country flying, gunnery, photographic and radio trainer.[2] The O-17 had a removable fairing (carrying a Scarff ring mounting for one .30 cal (7.62 mm) trainable Browning machine gun}.

The Royal Canadian Air Force purchased three generally similar aircraft, two Model 7 landplanes and one Model 8 floatplane, the latter with the same float gear as the NY series.

The sole XO-17A was converted from the PT-3 as a demonstrator that failed to secure any orders.[2] It was later fitted with the experimental Packard DR-980 Diesel engine of 225 hp (168 kW).[1]

The Model 15 was also an O-17 type airframe fitted with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine. It too failed to win any contracts.[2]


XO-17 (prototype)
Consolidated PT-3 Conversion with a 225 hp (168 kW) Wright R-790-1 engine, streamlined fuselage, modified undercarriage, increased fuel capacity, provision for dual controls and a dorsal 0.3 in (7.62 mm) gun, one conversion.[3]
O-17 Model 2 Courier
Production version for United States National Guard use, 29 built.[2]
XO-17A (prototype)
One Consolidated PT-3 converted with a Wright R-790-3 engine intended for export.[3]
Model 7 (RCAF landplane)
Royal Canadian Air Force, two built.[2]
Model 8 (RCAF floatplane)
Royal Canadian Air Force, one built.[2]
XPT-8 (demonstrator)
The airframe of the XO-17A prototype fitted with a Packard DR-980 Diesel engine of 225 hp (168 kw), scrapped in 1932.[1]
A single PT-3A (29-115) similarly converted with a Packard DR-980 Diesel engine with Project Number 'P-564',[4] but returned to PT-3A configuration.[5] The airframe was subsequently lost in a fatal midair with a P-12C of the 17th Pursuit Squadron 2 miles W of New Baltimore, Michigan on 17 December 1931.[6]
Model 15 (demonstrator)
Conversion with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine.[2]


 United States

Specifications (O-17)

Consolidated Courier 3-view drawing from L'Air April 15, 1928

Data from Eden & Moeng (2002)[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Length: 27 ft 11 in (8.51 m)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 5.5 in (10.5 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
  • Wing area: 296 sq ft (27.5 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,881 lb (853 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,723 lb (1,235 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-790-1 radial, 225 hp (168 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 118 mph (190 km/h, 103 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 100 mph (161 km/h, 87 kn)
  • Range: 550 mi (885 km, 480 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,000 ft (3,660 m)
  • Rate of climb: 865 ft/min (4.39 m/s)


See also


  1. ^ a b c Swanborough, F. G.; Bowers, Peter M. (1964), United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, New York: Putnam, ISBN 0-85177-816-X
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Eden, Paul; Moeng, Soph (2002), The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, London: Amber Books, ISBN 978-0-7607-3432-2
  3. ^ a b Andrade, John M. (1979), U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials Since 1909, Hinckley, UK: Midland Counties Publications, ISBN 0-904597-22-9
  4. ^ "1922-1929 USAAS-USAAC Serial Numbers".
  5. ^ Andrade, John M. U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Earl Shilton, Leicester: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9, page 198.
  6. ^ "1931 USAAC Accident Reports".