Curtiss AT-5

The Curtiss AT-5 was produced in an attempt to create an advanced trainer by fitting a lower powered engine in the fuselage of a standard pursuit aircraft. Forty AT-4s were ordered, powered by Wright-Hispano engines and using the fuselage of the Curtiss P-1 Hawk. The last five of these aircraft were completed with the 220hp Wright J-5 (R-790) Whirlwind radial engine. This was lighter than the Wright-Hispano engine, but the aircraft still suffered from the same problems as the AT-4, caused by matching the high performance fighter airframe with a low power engine.

Another thirty one AT-5As were built from new. These had the same 220hp engine, but used the airframe of the P-1B. The AT-5A was nearly 500lb lighter than the P-1B, but its reduced engine power meant that top speed dropped from 157.5mph down to 121.9mph. The AT-5 also handled differently to the P-1B.

As with the AT-4, the AT-5s were converted back into standard P-1s. All of the AT-4s became the P-1E while all of the AT-5A became the P-1F. During their brief training career both the AT-4s and AT-5s were used by the 43rd School Squadron (later the 43rd Fighter Squadron).

Engine: Wright J-5 (R-790) Whirlwind radial engine
Power: 220hp
Crew: 1
Span: 31ft 6in
Length: 22ft 8in
Height: 8ft 10in
Empty weight: 1,802lb
Gross weight: 2,445lb
Max speed: 121.9mph or 125.4mph
Climb Rate: 1,096ft/ min
Service ceiling: 16,330ft
Range: 488 miles

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 January 2013), Curtiss AT-5 ,

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