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The model NC-4

19 November 2011

The model NC-4

The previous post was about the real Curtiss NC-4, first aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean which resides in the National Naval Aviation Museum. The mammoth size of the seaplane makes it difficult to capture it in a single image — not that I am complaining since any visitor can walk right up to it to see the fabric’s texture and wooden hues.

The Curtiss NC-4 model at the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall, note the open bow compartment as well as the equally exposed cockpit — photo by Joseph May

Thanks to models though we can see either what no longer exists or get a sense of what the aircraft looked like when it was in flight. I am sure there are many fine models of the Navy’s historic NC-4  but one which I know about is exhibited in the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall. It is about a 18 inches (~0.5m) across and sits atop a pale blue surface that reminds me of either the ocean below or, perhaps, a cloud deck’s upper surface. One can get a sense of  what the NC-4 looks like in its entirety, thankfully, because of a modeller’s skill.

A better perspective to see the four V-12 Liberty engines of the NC-4 and its hull — photo by Joseph May

Posts about the museums mentioned, as well as their aircraft, can easily be found simply by pasting the name into the search window and selecting ENTER.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. shortfinals permalink
    19 November 2011 17:00

    Even the model is impressive; it supports the giant achievement of the original aircraft. I was also struck by the incredible number and complexity of the rigging wires. Good job!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      19 November 2011 18:09

      Yes, it’s an impressive beast. Curtiss had advanced airplane designs quite considerably, pushing the edge of the envelope far from the Wright’s design philosophy. Alcock and Brown from Great Britain surpassed the record set by the NC-4, demolishing it really, only months later using Vickers Vimy. The Navy had something to explore militarily by flying multiple legs from one strategic point to another, though, I think.

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