Curtiss Model K (aircraft)

Curtiss Model K (aircraft)
Model K
Role Flying boat
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Curtiss
First flight 1915
Primary user Imperial Russian Navy
Number built at least 51
Developed from Curtiss Model F

The Curtiss Model K was an American single-engined flying boat of World War I. It was an enlarged derivative of Curtiss's Model F and about 50 were built for export to the Russian Navy.


Design and development

In 1914, the Curtiss Aeroplane Company developed its Model K, an enlarged development of its successful Model F flying boat. It was a three-bay biplane powered by a 150 hp (112 kW) Curtiss V-X engine mounted in a pusher configuration between the wings. Unlike the Model F, its wings were staggered and slightly swept, while its ailerons were mounted on the upper wing instead of between the wings.[1][2]

The first flight of the Model K was delayed by problems with its engine until January 1915, with it being claimed that the aircraft was the largest single-engined flying boat in the world at the time.[2]

Operational history

While the Model K did not attract orders from home,[3] attempts to export it were more successful, resulting in an order for 51 aircraft in both flying boat and landplane versions from the Imperial Russian Navy in 1914.[4][N 1] The crated aircraft were shipped via Vancouver and Vladivostok, resulting in serious delays in the aircraft being re-assembled, such that many of them were unseaworthy due to their hulls having cracked.[3][5]


 Russian Empire


Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 31 ft 5 in (9.58 m)
  • Wingspan: 55 ft 10 in (17.01 m)
  • Wing area: 592 sq ft (55.0 m2)
  • Empty weight: 2,700 lb (1,225 kg)
  • Gross weight: 3,900 lb (1,769 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss V-X , 150 hp (110 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 70 mph (110 km/h; 61 kn)
  • Range: 364 mi (316 nmi; 586 km)
  • Rate of climb: 150 ft/min (0.76 m/s)


  1. ^ Johnson states that the order, for 54 aircraft was placed in late 1915, with deliveries starting in 1916.[2]
  1. ^ Bowers 1979, p. 106.
  2. ^ a b c Johnson 2009, p. 38.
  3. ^ a b c Bowers 1979, p. 107.
  4. ^ "Curtiss K through Z". Aerofiles. 24 January 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  5. ^ Johnson 2009, pp. 38–39.


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