Curtiss Model H Flying Boat

Curtiss model H flying boat prototype being lowered into the water by davit.  Curtiss school, Newport News, Virginia, 1916. 

These are the only photos in the scrapbook of this Curtiss model H flying boat.  My first clue to the identity of this plane was the logbook entry by Ivan on May 4, 1916.  Ivan noted here a "6 min. joy ride out to meet H boat".  That does not necessarily mean that this photo can be dated definitively, but I'm comfortable that it was very close to that date. The second clue is the ailerons on the upper plane, rather than between the wings as on the model F.

Various sources say that the first model met with failure. The thrust from the propeller combined with the drag of the hull produced a torque which caused the nose to dig too far down in the water.  That may be why there are no photos of this prototype in flight.  The first fix was to add "fins" on the side of the hull, so this may be the second prototype. The final fix was to add sponsons along the hull, which show up in photos seen of the model H2 flying boat, and are clearly lacking on this design.  The sponsons produced more bouyancy, overcoming the torque enough to achieve flying speed.

Prototype Curtiss flying boat model H taxiing in glassy calm water.

Back on the davit and ready to be removed from the water. Notice the slight chop in the water, indicating that the wind has picked up, and it's later in the day.  Also notice that it is photo #282, which comes after #279.  Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Curtiss model H flying boat prototype attached to the davit at the Curtiss school, 1916.

We're coming very near the end of Ivan's stay in Newport News, and a handful of pages from the end of the scrapbook.  There is one more flying boat model left to cover in next post, and then I'll post the odds & ends before moving on to his next assignment. Or rather, his first assignment!


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