When human’s learned, in 1903, they could cruise over land in a heaver than air flying machine, they never dreamed of using an advanced model of the aeroplane as an instrument of war. The novelty of flying intrigued a young Glenn H. Curtiss-an inventor obsessed with speed. In the decade before World War One, Curtiss a dedicated tinkerer developed speedy float planes and flying boats which came to the attention of the U.S. Navy. During the run-up to America’s involvement in the European war, ships carrying supplies to allies were being destroyed by the German U-boats. It was because of these losses of men and material that Navy brass decided a long range bomber should be developed to counter the German submarine menace. It was then Glenn Curtiss was contracted to draw plans for a large flying boat capable of flying across the Atlantic. Initially, four flying boats were built, but by this time the war had ended ant the mission of the flying boats no longer existed. However, America decided to send its new giant flying machines across the Atlantic as a show of Yankee know-how.
U.S. NAVY: CURTISS FLYING BOAT NC-4 An Account of the First Transatlantic Flight
The NC-4 flying boat was the first not non-stop aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919. The feat of making the first transatlantic flight was somewhat eclipsed shortly afterward by the first non-stop transatlantic flight by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown in a Vickers Vimy biplane. This interesting title has numerous photos of the NC-4 and its predecessors, along with a detailed scale drawing.
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