U.S. Air Service





Development and Operation

At the time of the entry of the United States into the war the Navy recognized an immediate need for an aircraft capable of patrolling the seas for German U-boats. As an interim approach the Navy approached the Curtiss Company and stated their requirements.

Curtiss engineers modified their R.3 design and created the R-6 configuration (an R.3 with longer wings, powered by the 200 hp V-2-3 engine, and with three degrees of dihedral in the outer-wing panel. The Navy ordered some 76 of these aircraft; 75 of which were delivered with twin-floats. The Navy serial numbers were A102 through 197 and A302 through 341.

The Curtiss R-6 was the first American built aeroplane to serve U.S. forces overseas in WWI when a Marine Squadron flying the R-6 was assigned to patrol duties in the Azores in January 1918.


  1. Bowers, Peter,Curtiss Aircraft 1904 to 1947
  2. Van Wyen, Adrian O.,Naval Aviation in World War I
  3. Photo courtesy of the author.

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