Curtiss Reims Racer


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Curtiss Reims Racer

At the urging of the Aeronautical Society of New York to represent it in the 1909 Gordon Bennett Cup Race in France, Curtiss built a larger version of No.1 and installed a new 60hp V-8 engine, which was a carefully-guarded secret until the racer was set up in France in August.

Flying against the clock rather than other aeroplanes, Curtiss completed the 20km closed course at a world's record 69.76km/h. The Reims Racer was later used by Curtiss and his pilots for exhibition work and other record flights in the United States.

Peter M. Bowers "Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947", 1979

Terrence I. Murphy, e-mail, 16.02.2012 17:42

The Curtiss No. 2, often known as the Reims Racer was a racing aircraft built in the United States by Glenn Curtiss in 1909 to contest the Gordon Bennett Cup air race in Reims, France that year. It was based on the design of his Golden Flyer, and like it was an open-framework biplane with two-bay unstaggered wings of equal span. It had a biplane tail but the elevators were carried separately, as a biplane canard unit. The landing gear was wheeled and tricycle in configuration, with the main units carrying dual wheels. Large ailerons were carried in the interplane gap. While resembling the Golden Flyer, the Reims Racer was a larger aircraft and was powered by an engine that had been stripped down and specially lightened for the race.
Returning to the United States, Curtiss flew the Reims Racer in the country's first air meet at Dominguez Hills in October, setting a new airspeed record of 55 mph (88 km /h). Curtiss sold the Reims Racer to Charles Hamilton, who crashed it in Seattle on 12 March the following year.
General characteristics
Crew: One pilot
Capacity: 1 passenger
Length: 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)
Wingspan: 34 ft 0 in (10.37 m)
Powerplant: 1 Curtiss vee-8, 63 hp (47 kW)


Rick Chartrand, e-mail, 25.02.2011 01:30

I believe I have prints of the earlest Curtis racer (taken from glass negatives in the late 1940's). Are you inteerested?

Rick Chartrand
Bellingham, WA


Ashlee, e-mail, 21.08.2009 07:50

What was this plane made out of?


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