Curtiss Model S


Model S
Curtiss S-3 (Cropped) from national archive image 165-WW-19C-5.jpg
Curtiss S-3
Role fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company

The Curtiss Model S (also known as Speed Scout or Model 10) was a single-seat fighter aircraft.[1]

Development and design

The Model S was Curtiss' first attempt at a fast and maneuverable single-seat fighter. The first variant, S-1, had disappointing performance. In March 1917, new wings were attached to the S-1 fuselage and the project was redesignated S-2. In 1917, the S-3 became the first triplane in service in the United States. In 1918 and 1919, Curtiss experimented with seaplane versions of the S-3, designated S-4 and S-5. The S-6 was intended to be an improved S-3, but performance was poor and of the 12 ordered by the USASC, only 1 was delivered.[1]


The sole Curtiss S-1 mounted on a truck for an Independence Day parade in New York City
S-1 Speed Scout
Biplane, unarmed
S-2 Wireless
Curtiss S-2 Wireless Speed Scout. Photo from Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering August 15,1916
Biplane, updated S-1 lacked wing wires. First flight in March 1917.
Model 10 - Triplane derived from S-2. Four built.[2]
Model 10A - Seaplane version of S-3 with 2 main floats
Model 10B - Seaplane version of S-3 with 1 main central float and two wingtip floats.
Model 10C - Triplane, improved S-3

Specifications (S-3)

Data from [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 19 ft 6 in (5.94 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 7 in (2.62 m)
  • Wing area: 142.6 sq ft (13.25 m2)
  • Empty weight: 970 lb (440 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,320 lb (599 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss OXX-3 , 100 hp (75 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 115 mph (185 km/h, 100 kn)
  • Service ceiling: 16,500 ft (5,029 m)


  1. ^ a b c Angelucci, 1987. pp. 112-113.
  2. ^ Bowers 1979, p.133.
  • Angelucci, Enzo (1987). The American Fighter from 1917 to the present. New York: Orion Books.
  • Bowers, Peter M. (1979). Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10029-8.