The Curtiss XC-10 was a modified version of the Curtiss Robin three seat cabin monoplane that was used for experiments with radio controlled aircraft.
The Curtiss Robin was produced in a response to the Lindbergh Boom, an increase in interest in aviation that followed Charles Lindbergh’s successful solo trans-Atlantic flight of 1927. The Robin was a three seat cabin monoplane, with a steel tube fuselage and wooden frame wings. The pilot sat in the front of the cockpit, with the two passengers side by side behind him. The Robin was originally powered by the Curtiss OX-5, a First World War era engine. The Robin was a parasol wing monoplane, with the wing mounted on top of the cockpit. The wing was connected to the fuselage by long struts that ran out beyond the half-way point of the wing.
The Robin made its maiden flight in 1928, and a total of 769 Robins were produced, making it the most numerous civil aircraft of its period. The Robin was produced in a number of variants, including the Robin W (Model 50J). This was powered by a 110hp Warner Scarab air cooled radial engine, which was used because it was more powerful than the OX-5, but cheaper than the Curtiss Challenger, which was used in many Robins. However the model wasn’t a great success, as the theoretically more powerful engine actually produced less thrust.
The XC-10 was a modified example of the Robin W, which was given the Army serial number 29-452. The XC-10 was given increased dihedral, a different thrust line to the standard Robin and larger vertical tail surfaces to improve its stability. The XC-10 was delivered to the Army in October 1929 and was used for experiments with radio controlled aircraft. This involved installing the radio control equipment, which allowed it to operate without a pilot. It wasn’t used for long, and had only gained 100 flight hours before it was scrapped in March 1935.
Engine: Warner R-420-1
Crew: 0 or 1
Length: 25ft 8in
Empty weight: 1,472lb
Gross weight: 2,440lb
Maximum take-off weight:
Cruising speed: 84mph
Range: 480 miles