Original U.S. Framed Fabric Piece from the Curtiss NC-4 - First Trans-Atlantic Flight on May 27 1919
Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. This is a great piece of Early U.S. Aviation history! The NC-4 was a Curtiss NC flying boat that was the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, albeit not non-stop. The NC designation was derived from the collaborative efforts of the Navy (N) and Curtiss (C). The NC series flying boats were designed to meet wartime needs, and after the end of World War I they were sent overseas to validate the design concept. The aircraft was designed by Glenn Curtiss and his team, and manufactured by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, with the hull built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Corporation in Bristol, Rhode Island.
In May 1919, a crew of United States Navy aviators flew the NC-4 from New York State to Lisbon, Portugal, over the course of 19 days. This included time for stops of numerous repairs and for crewmen's rest, with stops along the way in Massachusetts, Nova Scotia (on the mainland), Newfoundland, and twice in the Azores Islands. Then its flight from the Azores to Lisbon completed the first transatlantic flight between North America and Europe, and two more flights from Lisbon to northwestern Spain to Plymouth, England, completed the first flight between North America and Great Britain. This accomplishment was somewhat eclipsed in the minds of the public by the first nonstop transatlantic flight, made by the Royal Air Force pilots John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown two weeks later.
However, the NC-series of planes was still a very important stepping stone in the development of seaplane development. Emmitt Clayton Bedell, a chief designer for Curtiss, improved the hull by incorporating the Bedell Step, the innovative hydroplane "step" in the hull allowed for breaking clear of the water at takeoff.
What we have here is a 2" x 2" framed piece of original fabric from the Curtis NC-4. These were apparently being sold to help further the restoration efforts on the historic plane, as the fabric will only last so long, and eventually needs replacement. It is mounted inside a frame, under a picture of the aircraft, and is captioned as follows:
Commanding Officer: LCDR Albert C. Read, USN
Pilots: Lt. Elmer F. Stone, USCG and Lt. (j.g.) Walter Hinton, USN
Crew: Lt. James L. Breese, USN; Ens. Herbert C. Rodd, USN; and Eugene S. Rhoads, USN
The Curtis NC-4 was the first airplane to complete a trans-Atlantic flight. On May 27, 1919, the flying boat set down on the water of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal. The 4000-mile flight from Rockaway Beach, New York, had been accomplished in nineteen days. The NC-4 is part of the collection of the National Air and Space Museum and is currently on loan to the Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida.
All of this is very nicely mounted and matte glazed in a wooden frame. It measures about 21 1/2" x 17 1/2" x 3/4", and is in wonderful display condition. A great piece of early aviation history memorabilia!
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