Curtiss H4

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Curtiss H. 4 Small America
Curtiss H-4 America ExCC.jpg
Type: Flying boat
Design country:

United States 48United States United States





Number of pieces:


The Curtis H. 4 is a biplane - flying boat that in World War I from the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) at the firm Curtiss was commissioned.


British pilot John Cyril Porte was in America in 1914 preparing to cross the Atlantic in a Curtiss flying boat. He had to give up this attempt because of the outbreak of the First World War. He returned to the UK, where he took over a squadron of the RNAS. He convinced the Admiralty of the usefulness of the Curtiss flying boats. She bought two flying boats which were delivered in November 1914 and were given the numbers 950 and 951. After a trial in Felixstowe , another 62 machines were ordered, eight of which were manufactured in Great Britain by Aircraft Manufacturing Co., numbered 1228 to 1235. Curtiss initially delivered four flying boats, with the numbers 1236 to 1239. Another 50 followed, which were given the numbers 3545 to 3594. The whole series was designated as H. 4. Several changes were made to the hull to remedy the unseaworthiness. The knowledge gained from this flowed into later developments of flying boats by Curtiss and Felixstowe.


The Curtiss H.4 was used as a reconnaissance aircraft. In June 1918 a few flying boats were still in use. The flying boats with the numbers 1232, 1233 and 1235 were in the Killingholme station at the time.

Technical specifications

Parameter Data
Wingspan    21.95 m (72 ft.)
length    10.97 m (36 ft.)
height    4.88 m (16 ft.)
Empty weight    1,357 kg (2,992 lb.)
Max. total weight    2,250 kg (4,983 lb.)
drive    two Curtiss OX-5 with 90 HP or two Anzani with 100 HP or two Clerget with 110 HP or two Sunbeam with 150 HP (only number 1258)
crew    four persons
Armament    moving machine guns and light bombs under the wings


  • Owen Thetford: British Naval Aircraft 1912-58 , Putnam, London