U.S. Army Air Corps early 1920s system (Types I to XVI, etc.)

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
Excerpt from an official U. S. Army Air Corps Engineering Division document entitled Army Appropriation Bill, 1922, as reproduced in Aviation and Aircraft Journal Vol. 10, 1921 (bold type and color added):


The functions of the Engineering Division, Air Service, can be outlined as follows: To design, develop, and test all airplanes, airplane engines, accessories, and materials to meet the requirements of the Air Service; to prepare production drawings, specifications, and, where necessary, models of all aeronautical equipment for production ; and to assist and supervise the experimental and production manufacture of all aeronautical equipment being designed and constructed for the Air Service by the aeronautical industry.

Work accomplished from July 1919, to July 1920

AIRPLANES

TYPE I. SINGLE-SEATER, PURSUIT

1. Engineering Division, Model VCP-1. — Construction and tests completed and developments and improvements progressing.
2. Thomas-Morse, Model MB-3. — Four experimental airplanes delivered by Thomas-Morse Aircraft Corp., under contract dated June 19, 1920.
3. Ordnance Engineering, Model Orenco D. — Four experimental airplanes, delivered by the Ordnance Engineering Corp., under contract. Tests and necessary improvements and developments completed and incorporated in contract for fifty airplanes, being built by the Curtiss Airplane Corp., under contract dated June 16, 1920.
4. Vought, Model VE-8. — Two experimental airplanes, delivered by the Lewis & Vought Corp., under contract. Tests and development nearly completed.
5. Ordnance Model D-2. — Contract for three experimental airplanes let with the Ordnance Engineering Corp., April 21, 1920. Supervision and inspection of design and construction being maintained.
6. Loening Monoplane, Scout. — Contract for three experimental airplanes let with the Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation, April 10, 1920.

Supervision and inspection of design and construction being maintained. All of the above airplanes are powered with Wright 300 hp model H engines.

TYPE II. NIGHT PURSUIT, SINGLE-SEATER

1. Curtiss Model. — Contract for three experimental airplanes let with the Curtiss Airplane and Motors Corp., Feb. 23, 1920. Liberty, 220 hp., 6-cylinder engine used. Supervision and inspection of design and construction being maintained. The preliminary layout and design of this type was prepared by the Engineering Division.

TYPE III. COMBAT PURSUIT, SINGLE-SEATER (AIR-COOLED ENGINE)

Several preliminary layouts of design prepared by the Engineering Division. Experimental construction temporarily suspended until suitable engine is developed.

TYPE IV. ARMORED PURSUIT SINGLE-SEATER

1. Engineering division model GPX. — Preliminary layout and design prepared by Engineering Division. Experimental construction temporarily suspended until Wright 300 horsepower Cannon engine is developed.

TYPE V. TWO-SEATER PURSUIT

1. Engineering division model XB-1A. — Design constructed and tested by Engineering Division and made ready for production. The Wright 300 hp. Model H engine used in this airplane.

TYPE VI. ARMORED GROUND ATTACK THREE-SEATER

1. Engineering division model GAX. — Designed, constructed and tested by Engineering Division. A contract for the production of ten such airplanes was let with the Boeing Airplane Co., June 15, 1920. Two Liberty 400 hp. 12-cylinder engines used in this type.

TYPE VII. ARMORED INFANTRY LIAISON TWO-SEATER

1. Ordnance model E. — Contract for the construction of two experimental airplanes let with Ordnance Engineering Corporation, January 26, 1920. Supervision and inspection of design and construction maintained. One Liberty 400 horsepower 12-cylinder engine used in this type.
2. Lepere model GH-11. — This model with Liberty 400 horsepower 12-cylinder engine being tested and developed.

TYPE VIII. NIGHT OBSERVATION TWO-SEATER

1. Engineering division model XB-1A. — Designed, constructed and tested by Engineering Division and made ready for production.

TYPE IX. ARMY AND COAST ARTILLERY OBSERVATION AND SURVEILLANCE THREE-SEATER

Preliminary study and design made.

TYPE X. CORPS OBSERVATION TWO-SEATER

1. Engineering division model XB-1A. — Designed, constructed and tested by Engineering Division and made ready for production. A contract for the production of forty airplanes let with the Dayton-Wright Airplane Co., June 28, 1920.
2. Empire all-metal model. — Contract for three experimental airplanes let with the Empire Metal Aircraft Corp., June 28, 1919. Supervision and inspection maintained by the engineering division. The first airplane ready for delivery.
3. Lepere U. S. A. O.-11. — Engineering division installed the Moss supercharger in this airplane, resulting in the attainment of remarkable performances.

TYPE XI. DAY BOMBARDMENT

1. Engineering division model U. S. D.-9A. — Developed and ready for production.

TYPE XII. NIGHT BOMBARDMENT (SHORT DISTANCE)

1. Martin bomber. — Designed and constructed by Glenn L. Martin Co. and tested, developed and made ready for production by Engineering division. A contract was let June 9, 1920, for the construction of 20 airplanes of this type by the Glenn L. Martin Co.

TYPE XIII. NIGHT BOMBARDMENT (LONG DISTANCE)

1. Engineering division model Barling. — Designed by engineering division. A contract for the construction of two experimental airplanes of this type was let June 23, 1920, with the Wittemann-Lewis Co. This type uses six Liberty 400 hp. 12-cylinder engines and carries a useful load of approximately 18,000 lb.

TYPE XIV. TRAINING (AIR-COOLED ENGINE)

1. Huff-Daland model. — Contract for the construction of three experimental airplanes let with Huff-Daland Co. June 4, 1920.
2. Elias model. — Contract for construction of three experimental airplanes let with G. Elias & Bros. June 28, 1920.
3. Engineering division model XT-1, XT-2. — Preliminary layout and mocknp made by engineering division. The above types will use the Lawrence 140-horsepower radial air-cooled engine now being developed for the engineering division.

TYPE XV. TRAINING (WATER-COOLED ENGINE)

1. Engineering division model XT-3. — Design and experimental airplanes being built by engineering division. The Liberty 220 hp. 6-cylinder engine used in this type.
2. Vought model VE-7. — This type designed and constructed by Lewis & Vought Airplane Co. and tested, developed and made ready for production by the engineering division.
3. Curtiss JN Models. — Designed and constructed by Curtiss Airplane Co. and tested, developed and made ready for production by the Engineering Division.


TYPE XVI. — SPECIAL HIGH-ALTITUDE ARMY AND COAST SURVEILLANCE

Study and design by Engineering division incorporating Moss superchargers and air-tight compartment features.

MISCELLANEOUS TYPES

1. Engineering Division Model VCP-R. — Engineering Division Model VCP-ROfficial U. S. Government entry in the Gordon Bennett international cup race. The Model VCP-1 modified to take the Packard 550 hp. engine. Speed of 190 m.p.h. anticipated.
2. Engineering Division ambulance. — A DH-4 airplane modified to carry two litters and the pilot and surgeon for emergency transportation by air.
3. Engineering Division messenger. — For dispatch service. Designed by Engineering Division, using Lawrance 3-cylinder 60 hp. engine. Contract let with Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Co., April 14, 1920, for the construction of five experimental airplanes of this type.
4. Miscellaneous. — Exhaustive study and various layouts of airplanes to be constructed of metal.
 

Jos Heyman

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
597
Reaction score
24
Mighty interesting paper. We should see this 1921 paper in the light of the 1919-1924 designation system that allocated actual designations to the types advanced in this paper. That designation system was described in Fahey's US Army Aircraft 1908-1946, p. 3 and I have enclosed part of that page concerning these designations.
I have attempted to link the aircraft types mentioned on the 1921 paper to designated (an some undesignated) aircraft types to extract what was 'new and mysterious":
Type I
VCP-1: designated as R-1 (a racer)
MB-3: never designated
Orenco D: never designated
VE-8: never designated
Orenco D-2: PW-3
Loening Monoplane Scout: PW-2
Type II:
Curtiss Model: (can only be) PN-1
Type III:
No designs mentioned
Type IV:
Eng Div GPX: PG-1
Type V:
XB-1A: derived from the Bristol F.2B, never designated
Type VI:
GAX: GA-1
Type VII:
Orenco E: IL=1
LePere GH-11: LUSAGH-11
Type VIII:
XB-1A: never designated
Type IX:
No designs mentioned
Type X:
XB-1A: never designated
Empire: must be the three or four aircraft ordered in the serial block 63267/63271
LePere USAO-11: never designated
Type XI:
USD-9A: never designated
Type XII:
Martin: NBS-1
Type XIII:
Barling: NBL-1
Type XIV:
Huff Daland: TA-2
Elias: TA-1
Eng Div XT-1 and XT-2: I have never heard of these and any suggestions are welcome. See also XT-3 below.
Type XV:
Eng Div XT-3: most likely the TW-1. Dana Bell's Smithsonian NASM Directory of Airplanes makes mention of a USTX-3, but not USTX-1 or -2.
VE-7: never designated
Curtiss JN: reference to vague to determine what sub-type is meant here
Type XVI:
No designs mentioned
Miscellaneous types:
VCP-R: R-1
Eng Div. ambulance: a sub-type of the DH-4
Eng Div Messenger: M-1

So, the Eng. Div XT-1 and -2 are new to me.
 

Attachments

  • Fahey 1908-1946 p. 3.jpg
    Fahey 1908-1946 p. 3.jpg
    185.3 KB · Views: 338

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
You didn't list the "Empire all-metal model." as being unknown to you, but I must admit this one was completely new to me. Any clues?

Jos Heyman said:
Mighty interesting paper. We should see this 1921 paper in the light of the 1919-1924 designation system that allocated actual designations to the types advanced in this paper. That designation system was described in Fahey's US Army Aircraft 1908-1946, p. 3 and I have enclosed part of that page concerning these designations.

It ought to be mentioned here that a later document, covering the 1921-1922 period (which I haven't yet thoroughly been through) contains only 15 (XV) types as your list suggests. The Type XVI was only briefly considered and then removed.

Jos Heyman said:
I have attempted to link the aircraft types mentioned on the 1921 paper to designated (an some undesignated) aircraft types to extract what was 'new and mysterious'

Thanks a lot Jos for doing a fast and efficient job of something I had planned to be doing on the longer run... ;)

Jos Heyman said:
Eng Div XT-1 and XT-2: I have never heard of these and any suggestions are welcome. See also XT-3 below.
Eng Div XT-3: most likely the TW-1. Dana Bell's Smithsonian NASM Directory of Airplanes makes mention of a USTX-3, but not USTX-1 or -2.
So, the Eng. Div XT-1 and -2 are new to me.

I suppose that would be USXT-, not USTX-.
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
Excerpt from the Army Appropriation Bill, 1921 (Hearings Before Subcommittee No. 1 of the Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives, 66th Congress, Second Session — March 25 - April 2, 1920) (bold type and spacing of paragraphs added). Interestingly, this document which is prior to the one posted previously contains only 15 (XV) types.




AIRPLANES.

We stated that we wished to develop 15 types to meet all military requirements. The following indicates the availability of airplanes to meet these requirements at the present time:

Type I. Single-seater pursuit (water-cooled engine).
(a) Ordnance Engineering Corporation model D.
(b) Thomas-Morse MB-3.
(c) Engineering Division model VCP-1.
All three of these are designed about the 300 Hispano. As the Ordnance Engineering model D most nearly conformed to our requirements, the Engineering Division concentrated on it and greatly improved its performance and ease of maintenance. Many major changes were made in this airplane. It is recommended for production. Bids were opened on February 20 for a new and improved design. The Ordnance Engineering Corporation submitted a much improved design based on their experience with the model D. A contract is now being drawn for the construction of three of these new types. This will be done out of 1920 funds.

Type II. Single-seater pursuit for night attack (air-cooled engine). — A contract has been let to the Curtiss Engineering Corporation for the construction of three experimental models of this type about the Liberty 6 engine.

Type III. Single-seater pursuit (air-cooled engine). — The construction of this type is held up pending the design of a satisfactory air-cooled engine. Proposals are now out for a 350-400 horsepower radial air-cooled engine. An unsuccessful effort has been made to procure the Cosmos engine from England. We are now negociating with an American designer who claims to have the American rights to manufacture the Cosmos "Jupiter" engine. An airplane of this type will be constructed during the next fiscal year if funds are made available.

Type IV. Single-seater pursuit, armored, for ground attack (air or water cooled engine). — An airplane of this type requires a 300-horsepower geared 37-millimeter cannon engine. The engine has been designed and constructed and is now being tested at McCook Field. It is a geared cannon 300-horsepower Hispano-Suiza, and was built by the Wright-Martin Co. An armored airplane for this engine is completely designed, and actual construction will start about May 1.

Type V. Two-seater pursuit (air or water cooled engine). — The Loening monoplanes, LePere and XB1A are available, but are not perfectly satisfactory. Further work on these as two-seater pursuit types was discontinued early in the year due to lack of funds. As soon as a 350-400 horsepower radial engine becomes available, an effort will be made to meet the requirements for this type.

Type VI. Three-seater armored airplane for ground attack. — A completely armored airplane has been developed and built at McCook Field; is now being assembled and will be in the air the first week of April. This airplane marks a distinct advance in aviation and is believed to be absolutely up to date and as good as any existing machine of this type.

Type VII. Two-seater Infantry liaison. — A contract has been let and the Ordnance Engineering Corporation is now constructing two airplanes of this type. They furnish complete armored protection for engine, gasoline, and crew. This airplane will be in the air before July 1.

Type VIII. Two-seater night observation. — The XB1A designed and built at McCook Field about the 300 Hispano-Suiza engine is recommended for production. Complete production drawings are available. Two airplanes are now being built to check these drawings.

Type IX. Three-seater Army and Coast Artillery observation and surveillance. — Three designs for this type have been considered. A contract will be let for actual construction by April 15.

Type X. Two-seater corps observation. — The XB1A with the 300 Hispano is recommended for production. Three all-steel airplanes around the Liberty 12 engine are being constructed by the Art Metal Corporation for this division. The first airplane will receive its flying tests early is May.

Type XI. Two or multi-seater day bombardment. — The USD9A, which fills as closely as possible the requirements of this type, is available and is recommended for production. Complete production drawings are on hand. It is not possible to design a better airplane for this purpose about the Liberty engine. Proposals are now being prepared for the construction of an airplane of this type about the new Packard 500-horsepower engine. With this added horsepower the specifications for this type can be more neatly met.

Type XII. Multiseater night bombardment short distance. — The Glenn L. Martin bomber is available with complete production drawings. Although this airplane does not give the performance desired for this type, it is believed to be the best short-distance night bombardment airplane in existence, and it is therefore recommended for production.
The airplane is being redesigned to improve its performance, and a contract will be let within thirty days for two or three airplanes of new design.

Type XIII. Multiseater night bombardment, long distance. — Funds were not available to construct an airplane of this type during the current fiscal year, but six designs have been prepared and construction will be started early in the fiscal year 1921 if funds are made available. Airplanes of this type have a cruising radius of 20 hours and can carry 5.000 pounds of bombs.

Type XIV. Two-seater training (air-cooled engine). — The construction of this type has been held up pending the completion of the design of a 140-horsepower radial air-cooled engine. A contract has been let for the construction of four of these engines. Proposals are now being prepared for bids for the construction of three experimental airplanes about this 140-horsepower radial air-cooled engine. Contract should be let for this work early in June.

Type XV. Two-seater training (water-cooled engine). — The VE-7 about the 150 Hispano is available with complete production drawings. A design is well under way for an airplane of this type about the Liberty 6 engine.

It will be observed that the Engineering Division either has available, ordered on contract, or is now negotiating contracts to cover each type required, except types III, V, or XIII. Due to lack of suitable engines and sufficient funds these types could not be covered. It was manifestly impossible to complete a program requiring $10.000.000 with an appropriation of $4.000.000.
 

Jos Heyman

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
597
Reaction score
24
The Empire aircraft is listed in my archives as a Corps Observation aircraft of which the US Army ordered four (conflicts with the 'three' in the paper) on 28 August 1919 in serial block 63267/63271. There are five aircraft in that block and the fifth one is a Vought VE-7. This wisdom comes from Robert B. Casari's US Army Aviation Serial Numbers and Orders 1908-1923 (Reconstructed) as well as Aerofiles.
Unrelated to the listing, there was also an Empire Experimental Steel of which twelve were ordered by the US Army on 16 January 1918 with serials 39043/39054 but which were cancelled again on 3 April 1918.
Empire was established in 1916 at Hempstead Plains, NY, and took over from Huntington Aircraft Corp.

PS Sorry for the typo USXT[font=]

[/font]
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
It's tough researching the U. S. Army Air Service years, there are not many documents around... Anyway, here's an attempt at identifying the various contenders for each of the Types listed above.
First of all, keep in mind that in those years, the Air Service issued once a year a Circular Proposal that listed the various types it wished for companies to bid upon. The first Type I competition, for instance, had resulted in Spring 1920 contracts, and so Type I was not part of the September 1920 circular proposal. However, it was once again listed in the May 1921 edition.
There were two major aircraft procurement C.P.s for that period:
  • Circular proposal for experimental type airplanes, dated September 15, 1920.
    This included requests for bidding on the Types III, IV, VI, XI and XII.
  • Circular proposal for experimental type airplanes, dated May 4, 1921.
    This included requests for bidding on the Types I, III, V, VIII, IX, X, XII, XIII, XIV, XV (a) and XV (b).
    The (b) variant differed from the (a) in that it required the use of a Curtiss OX-5 engine.
Later circular proposals were apparently restricted to one single competition each. The difficulty in finding suitable designs for the long-range bombardment types accounts for the multiple C.P.s devoted to the Types XII and XIII. A few examples I found:
  • Circular proposal 22104* for the Type XIII (*the 104th Army C.P. for 1922)
  • Circular proposal 22105* for the Type XII. (*the 105th Army C.P. for 1922)
  • Circular proposal 2338* for the Type XII (*the 38th Army C.P. for 1923)
  • Circular proposal 2354* for 10 air transports (*the 54th Army C.P. for 1923)
  • Circular proposal 24-254 for 9 single-engined air transports
  • Circular proposal 24-289 for an attack aircraft (led to the choice of the Curtiss A-3 Falcon)
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
TYPE I — Pursuit, single-seater (water-cooled) >> later replaced by the PW- series
  • First set of designs were all based around the 300 hp Wright Model H engine, a version of the famed Hispano-Suiza motor.
    This led to the Engineering Division VCP-1 (later modified as the VCP-R racer and the Packard-engined VCP-2, later redesignated as PW-1), and contracts for the Loening Monoplane Scout (probably the later PW-2), Lewis & Vought VE-8, Thomas-Morse MB-3, Orenco D and D-2 in 1920 (the latter becoming the PW-3 in the 1924 system).
    New bidders to that specification in 1921 included Elias and Gallaudet, but only the latter was granted a contract (probably for what became the PW-4).
TYPE II — Pursuit / Night attack, single-seater (air-cooled) >> later replaced by the PN- series
  • There must have been several bidding designs but I was only able to identify the 220 hp Liberty-powered Curtiss L-44-2, later designated as the PN-1. It was developed using an Engineering Division preliminary design as a basis. Two of three aircraft ordered in 1920 were built, but none of them flew.
TYPE III — Pursuit, single-seater (air-cooled) >> later replaced by the PA- series
  • Preliminary designs were drafted by the Engineering Division. Bidders to the 1920 circular included Curtiss, Loening, J. V. Martin, Aeromarine, L. W. F., Ordnance Engineering (Orenco), but only the first three received an Army design contract; eventually the Loening design was declared the winner and received a contract for three aircraft that became the PA-1.
    The 1921 C.P. led to more submissions from Elias, Gallaudet, and Dayton-Wright. The latter two got design contracts but nothing came of either.
TYPE IV — Pursuit / Ground attack, single-seater, armored (air- or water-cooled) >> later replaced by the PG- series
  • The Engineering Division prepared the preliminary layout and design for the Model GPX but construction was suspended until the Wright 300 hp cannon engine could be made available. In 1920, Aeromarine and Boeing submitted design proposals, while Orenco made a design but did not enter the bid. Eventually, only the Engineering Division type was built and became the PG-1.
TYPE V — Pursuit, two-seater (air- or water-cooled) >> later replaced by the TP- series
  • The Engineering Division developed, constructed and tested their Model XB-1A, derived from the Bristol F.2B, which used the 300 hp Wright Model H (Hispano). After issue of the 1921 C.P., design proposals were received from Aeromarine, Elias, Boeing, Loening and Gallaudet. The latter three were granted design contracts, but none of these led to a production contract.
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
TYPE VI — Ground attack, three-seater, armored >> later replaced by the GA- series
  • This category did not specify a number of engines, and while some proposals were single-engines, others were twin-engined. The Engineering Division devised, constructed and tested their twin-engine Model GAX around the 400 hp Liberty engine, and later granted in June 1920 a production contract to Boeing for 10 GA-1 aircraft. The September 1920 C.P. led to more design submissions. Curtiss and Loening received contracts for design and purchase of their single-engine proposals (haven't been able to identify these so far), presumably as stand-in solutions until bigger twin-engine designs could be procured. Still in 1920, Elias, Loening and Aeromarine offered multiengined designs, while Boeing surprisingly chose to submit a single-engine design. Only Elias and Loening received a design contract but in the enfd no new type was procured in that category.
TYPE VII — Infantry liaison, two-seater, armored >> later replaced by the IL- series
  • There may have been more submissions, but I was only able to identify two: the Le Pere Model GH-11 (sometimes found as the L. U. S. A. G. H.-11) and the Orenco Model E, which later became the IL-1. Both used a 400 hp Liberty 12-cylinder engine.
TYPE VIII — Night observation, two-seater >> later replaced by the NO- series
  • The Engineering Division first used a version their Model XB-1A for that category. Following the 1921 C.P., design proposals were made by Cox-Klemin, Gallaudet and Elias; all three received design contracts but none of them led to any contract for hardware.
TYPE IX — Army and Coast artillery observation and surveillance, three-seater >> later replaced by the AO- series
  • I have been able to identify two design proposals from 1921: one was by Huff-Daland, the other by Elias. Only the former was granted a design contract but nothing became of it.
TYPE X — Corps observation, two-seater >> later replaced by the CO- series
  • Earliest procurements in that category were an Empire Metal type, of which three examples were ordered in 1919 (with at least one built), and the Le Pere Model O-11 (or L. U. S. A. O.-11), in which the Engineering Division installed the Moss supercharger. Apparently highly confident in their XB-1A, they produced yet another variant of it in this category, and after successful testing, a contract for production of 40 aircraft was granted to Dayton-Wright in June 1920. After the 1921 C. P., both Elias and Gallaudet submitted design proposals, the latter receiving a design contract, but no aircraft were ordered.
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
TYPE XI — Day bombardment, two- or multiseater >> later replaced by the DB- series
  • The Engineering Division initially produced their Model U. S. D.-9A in this category, a modified Airco (De Havilland) D.H.9.
    Design proposals following the 1920 C. P. came from Aeromarine, Orenco, Boeing, Gallaudet and L. W. F., with the latter three being granted a design contract. No production ensued.
TYPE XII — Night bombardment, short distance, multiseater (water-cooled) >> later replaced by the NBS- series
  • The best known of the Army Air Service types was the Type XII because it led to the NBS- series of bombers, which paved the way for all the others bombers to come in the following years. In answer to the 1920 C. P., design proposals were made by Aeromarine, Boeing, Curtiss and L. W. F. Apart from the last one, all received design contracts, but none of the proposals was deemed satisfactory.
  • The 1921 C. P. led to a second set of submissions, which included Martin and Witteman-Lewis. Again, despite design contracts, no procurement followed.
  • The 1922 C. P. saw new design submissions, notably by Cox-Klemin, Martin, L. W. F., Elias, and Curtiss. All received design contracts, but eventually only the latter four received construction contracts: Martin for what became their Model MB (called the GMB by the Army and later redesignated as NBS-1), Elias and Curtiss as subcontractors for the MB, and L. W. F. for their Model H-1 Owl (which was later cancelled).
  • The night bombardment mission was judged paramount, and the experimental designs were far from proven, so more bids were sollicited in the 1923 C. P. New submissions came from many companies including Aeromarine, Boeing, Dayton-Wright and quite a few others but none led to any procurement.
  • Elias and Curtiss also received orders for prototype variants of the MB later designated as XNBS-3 and XNBS-4, also using variants of the Liberty 12 engine. The Curtiss type proved the best variant and led to the famed B-2 Condor bomber.
  • Douglas (a then fairly new player on the market) studied a Type XII bomber as their Model 36 circa January 1923, but nothing came of it.
TYPE XIII — Night bombardment, long distance, multiseater (water-cooled) >> later replaced by the NBL- series
  • This type is rather well known because it led to the creation of the famous (infamous?) so-called "Barling" bomber (otherwise known as "Mitchell's folly"). Designed by the Engineering Division, the "Barling" was powered by two 400 hp Liberty 12 engines and led to a procurement contract being granted to the Wittemann-Lewis Co. in June 1920 for two prototypes (later designated XNBL-1). Proving soon to be a high disappointment, more requests for submittal were issued in 1921 and 1922. Gallaudet, Huff-Daland, Aeromarine, Martin, Dayton-Wright, Curtiss and Cox-Klemin are known to have submitted designs, all but Aeromarine being granted design contracts. Only Martin, Dayton-Wright and Cox-Klemin secured a construction contract, but eventually all three types were cancelled.
TYPE XIV — Training two-seater (air-cooled engine) >> later replaced by the TA- series
  • Four types are known to have been designed in 1920 for this category, each of them around the 140 hp Lawrence radial air-cooled engine: one by Huff-Daland, one by Elias and two by the Engineering Division. The first two were contracted and procured (later becoming the TA-2 and TA-1, respectively), while the Engineering Division's XT-1 and XT-2 proposals were not built (only a mockup was made).
  • A second round of designs was submitted in 1921 from Elias, Dayton-Wright, Orenco and maybe others. Orenco received a design order, while Dayton-Wright received a purchase order (perhaps for what is usually refered to as the Wright TA-4).
TYPE XV — Training two-seater (water-cooled engine) >> later replaced by the TW- series
  • Although the Engineering Division's XT-1 and XT-2 designs were not built, a variant called the Model XT-3, which used a water-cooled 220 hp 6-cylinder Liberty engine, was designed and built (it later became the TW-1).
  • Lewis & Vought designed and constructed their VE-7, which was tested, developed and made ready for production by the Engineering Division. The latter also tested, developed and made ready for production some late variants of the famed Curtiss JN "Jenny" series.
  • Following the 1921 C. P., quite a few design proposals were made from quite few companies, either to the Type XV (a) or Type XV (b) sub-categories. The latter differed in being developed around the Curtiss OX-5 engine. Type XV (a) bidders included Elias, Cox-Klemin and Orenco; Type XV (b) bidders included Huff-Daland, perhaps Thomas-Morse, and also lesser-known companies such as E. P. Warner, Rogers Construction and Stinsons Airplane. The Cox-Klemin and Huff-Daland won for each sub-type, leading to the TW-2 and TW-5 aircraft.
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
TYPE XVI — Special high-altitude Army and Coast surveillance
  • Study and design by the Engineering Division. incorporating Moss superchargers and air-tight compartment features.
    No aircraft was ever built to that specification.
MISCELLANEOUS TYPES
  • Special type airplane. At least five companies submitted design proposals to this mysterious entry in the 1921 C. P.: Aeromarine, Lewis & Vought, Elias, Loening and Dayton-Wright. The Vought, Loening and Dayton-Wright all led to purchase orders. It is likely that the latter must have been the XPS-1 "special alert" pursuit type; closer inspection indicates that the design was in fact Loening's but was contracted to others. Was Vought meant to build the type too?
  • 10 transport airplanes. There was originally no dedicated category of designations for tranpsorts in the U. S. A. A. S. system. A tender for 10 transport airplanes was issued under Circular Proposal #2354. Among the submissions were designs by L. W. F., Huff-Daland, Boeing and Elias. All four received design contracts but there doesn't seem to have been any Army transport aircraft built by any of these companies at the time. First T- for transport types were the Martin T-1 and Fokker T-2.
  • Ambulance. Appearing as the Engineering Division ambulance airplane, this could be the same as the Cox-Klemin A-1 ambulance.
  • Messenger. The Engineering Division messenger may be the same aircraft known as the M-1.
  • World Cruiser. The Douglas DWC was apparently designated by the Army as the XDWC.
  • Racers. There was originally no dedicated category of designations for racers. The R- series started with the Engineering Division VCP-R, a modification of one of the VCP-1 pursuits, and was later redesignated as R-1 in the 1924 system. The R-2 was the former Thomas-Morse MB-6; the R-3 was a Verville/Sperry design; the R-4 was a Loening; the R-5 was by Thomas-Morse; the R-6 was a Curtiss model.
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
Judging by the total lack of response, I guess the above may not be of great interest to many, but anyway... I've just added a mention of the fact that Douglas studied a Type XII bomber design of their own.
 

Jos Heyman

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
597
Reaction score
24
Don't be upset :) - your treatment of this topic is a 'milestone' event. It will become a primary reference source.
 

memaerobilia

ACCESS: Confidential
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
137
Reaction score
8
Website
www.memaerobilia.com
The three Huff Daland TA-2 aircraft were Type XIV. Not sure what class the Huff Daland TA-6 was in. Only one TA-6 as built. here is a rare Original 1922 photo of the TA-6, under construction, from the Huff Daland Company archives.
 

Attachments

  • hd014t.jpg
    hd014t.jpg
    35.5 KB · Views: 157

Dynoman

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
981
Reaction score
447
Memaerobilia...I just found documentation that Aeromarine Plane and Motor Co. proposed on the IX Coast Artillery Surveillance bid. Their competition was Huff-Daland and Eilas aircraft companies. Do you have any information on the Type IX proposals submitted by any of the entrants. I have a review of the Aeromarine proposal from the McCook Engineering Division, but very little info.
 

Dynoman

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
981
Reaction score
447
According to the National Archives documents regarding the Type IX bids. Type IX Coastal Artillery Surveillance Aircraft was to include two radios with one in the forward observers cockpit and one in the rear gunners cockpit. The pilot was to sit in a cockpit in between. The observer and gunner were to have either seat pack or lap packs, while the pilot sat on a seat pack. The observation camera (operated by the observer) was to be positioned in between the observers cockpit and the pilot's. A bomb release mechanism was also to be made available in the observers cockpit. The camera system was supposed to be a "K-1" and an interphone system set "SCR-89" for the crew to communicate. Three designs were considered with an award scheduled for April 15, 1920.
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
An interesting addition to this topic is this article published in the Dec. 27, 1920 issue of Aviation, which lists for each of the Types which companies were awarded contracts:
 

Attachments

  • AW 1920-01-01_p.491-492.jpg
    AW 1920-01-01_p.491-492.jpg
    849.8 KB · Views: 89

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,221
Reaction score
820
Here's a PDF file I made of an Excel chart I started a couple of years ago, attempting to recapitulate every early U. S. Army project, contract and designation. It's far from complete, but I hope it's already of interest as it is!
 

Attachments

  • USAAS - Types I to XVI.pdf
    20.4 KB · Views: 39

ACResearcher

Author/researcher/illustrator.
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2011
Messages
277
Reaction score
173
Stargazer,

BRILLIANT work on those type designations!!

There is actually quite a bit of stuff on these designations at NARA, but you really, really, really have to want to wade through tons of documents to put it all together - assuming NARA is ever open again. Is this where you got all this??

Once again, excellent job.

AlanG
 

Similar threads

Top