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We paused to see the US Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” trainer built in 1915.This was the first mass produced US aircraft, but it was not intended for combat due to its top speed of 87 MPH, 11,000 ft max altitude.Check out this French SPAD VII circa 1916 which was flown by the French, British, and Americans flying with “Lafayette Escadrille”.Pilots liked this plane because it could survive diving – without disintegrating – and was tough.Note the synchronized machine gun; earlier WWI models simply used metal plates to deflect bullets if the prop got in the way.This plane has impressive statistics: 180 horse power, top speed of 127 MPH, one .303 machine gun, 17,500 altitudes, and NO parachute!This aircraft was so fast, it outran every fighter of its day – giving the Army the (mistaken) impression that it could fly without fighter escorts.This “myth” of self defense in doctrine was to severely challenge the US Army Air Forces in WWII.
The Wright Brothers were quite active in the Dayton, Ohio area.
The later models of the B-10 had 2,700 HP engines, could fly 183 MPH, and fly at 24,000 ft, with an amazing 1,300 mile range for its day.
Next we saw the Hawker Hurricane Mk IIa – One of the two main British fighters of the “Battle of Britain”.
It had a 372 mile range, sported three 150 HP engines, and two defensive machine guns, flying at 75 MPH. We saw the Boeing P-12E Pursuit (Fighter) developed during the interwar period, all on Boeing’s own dollar.
Its fuselage was metallic, while the wings were still a hybrid of wood and fabric – but the march to all metal was on.
Charles Kettering (same as the city, same as General Motors, co-founder of the “Engineer’s Club” of Dayton, previously mentioned) tried to design and build the first ever remotely controlled bomb.