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Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  Curtiss R3C-2 Schneider Trophy Winner


  • The U.S. Army and Navy ordered three R3C racing aircraft from Curtiss to compete in 1925. The R3C-1 was to be a landplane to compete in the Pulitzer Trophy race and the R3C-2 would be a seaplane for the Schneider Trophy competition. Both aircraft were of similar construction: welded steel tube fuselage with wooden veneer covering, and wooden wing and tail surfaces. A large section of both upper and lower wings was covered with radiators for the engine.
  • The R3C-1, piloted by Army Air Service Lt. Cyrus Bettis, won the Pulitzer race with an average speed of 249 mph, on 12 October 1925.
  • The Army selected a young test pilot, Lt. James Doolittle, to fly the R3C-2 for the Schneider race, held on Chesapeake Bay that year. Doolittle piloted the R3C-2 to victory with an average speed of 232.6 mph, the only aircraft in the race to exceed 200 mph. The next day, Doolittle set a new seaplane world record speed of 245.7 mph, flying the R3C-2 over a straight course.
  • The following year, Lt. Christian Schilt, USMC, flying an R3C-2 with an improved engine, finished second in the Schneider Trophy race with an average speed of 231.4 mph. Following the 1926 races, the R3Cs were retired.



Status: Replica
Manufacturer: Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
Year: Based on 1925 aircraft
Model: R3C-2
Registration Number:
Serial Number: 
Crew: 1
Max T/O Weight: 2,182 lb.
Span: 22 ft. 0 in.
Length: 22 ft. 8 in.
Height: 9 ft. 11 in.
Maximum Speed: 246 mph
Cruise Speed: N/A
Rate of Climb: N/A
Power Plant: 1 × Continental C-85 air-cooled engine, converted to 0-200 specifications
Range: 290 miles
Service Ceiling: N/A
Armament: N/A


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