|Bill Deane, 24.11.2013|
Burgess Company and Curtis –Model-H –Military Tractor biplane, designed with wheeled landing gear / twin float option. Ordered by U.S. Army Feb. 10, 1912, Number built- 6, First Model H delivered July 27, 1912. SC #9 was first tractor and first aeroplane with a fuselage purchased by the U.S. Army. Price: $7,500 ea. Two place, powered by a Renault V-8, 70hp. engine, equipped with a radio transmitter and receiver with receiving/sending antennae installed in the wing structure. Span: 34’6”, Length: 27’9”, Weight: 2300lbs. Low Speed: 38-42 mph. Max. Speed: 58-72mph.Climb Rate: 180-320 fpm. This first military tractor was accepted at and flown from Marblehead by Lt. Hap Arnold, it landed at Plymouth MA for repairs, next day on a water takeoff the aircraft stalled at low altitude and was severely damaged. The aircraft was repaired locally and subsequently shipped to the Army Field at College Park, MD. All other aircraft were shipped to the Army airfield at San Diego, CA without incident. Grover Loening, the U.S. Army resident aeronautical engineer at that field subsequently modified SC# 24 and 28 and then modified the other Model H tractors after the successful test flights of SC #24. (Burgess Serial #s H-34, H-40 /H-44)
U.S. Army Serial #s: SC 9, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28.