Curtiss CS/ Martin SC/ Martin T2M

The Curtiss CS/ Martin SC/ Martin T2M was a Navy designed scout and torpedo bomber of the 1920s that was produced in several versions by Curtiss and Martin

This aircraft was produced at a time where US Navy designations were in a state of flux. The aircraft was originally designed by the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics. Curtiss won the contract to produce this aircraft, which became the Curtiss CS in the 1922-23 system, standing for Curtiss Scout. Martin then out-bid Curtiss for further production of the aircraft, which then became the Martin SC in the 1923 system, which placed the type of aircraft first.

Curtiss then produced an improved version of the design, which became the CS-2. Martin then won the production order, so the aircraft was built as the Martin SC-2. This aircraft was also given the designation Martin T2M, placing it in the torpedo bomber sequence, although this seems not to have been used in service. 

The CS-1 was a large biplane, designed for use as a scout, bomber and torpedo bomber. The fuselage had a welded steel tube structure and fabric cover. One unusual feature was that the lower wing had a wider span than the upper wing. The wings could fold. The aircraft had a channel in its belly to take the standard US Navy Torpedo which wouldn’t have fitted in an internal bomb bay. The CS-1 had a crew of three - pilot and gunner in open cockpits and torpedoman/ bomb aimer in the fuselage. The aircraft was designed to operate on wheels or as a float plane, and for it to be possible to change between the two quickly.

Curtiss was given a contract to produce six CS-1s and two CS-2s. They were delivered in April 1924 and served with Squadron VT-1. They were judged to have been a success, and a production contract was then put out to tender.

Glenn Martin won this contract, and built 35 aircraft as the Martin SC-1. These aircraft entered service with squadrons VT-1, VT-2 and VS-1. Martin also won the contract to produce forty more CS-2s, as the Martin SC-2.

The CS/ SC family had a fairly short front line career. By the middle of 1927 they were still in use with VT-2B, which had a mix of the Martin produced SC-1s and SC-2s. In addition they were used by VN-3D8 training squadron at Pensacola, which operated 15 SC-1s and 15 SC-2s.


Curtiss CS-1

This was the first production version. It was powered by a 525hp Wright T-2 engine and carried a crew of three. Six were built for the navy.

Curtiss CS-2

The Curtiss CS-2 was similar to the CS-1, but with a Wright T-3 engine, more fuel capacity and the option to add a third float to the floatplane version. Two were built.

Martin SC-1

The Martin SC-1 was the main production version of the Curtiss CS-1. Thirty five were built and went to VT-1, VT-2 and VS-1.

Martin SC-2

The Martin SC-2 was the main production version of the Curtiss CS-2, powered by the 600hp Wright T-3 engine. Forty were built.


The CS-3 was a CS-2 that had been given a geared Wright T-3 engine. Martin improved the design and then built it as the Martin T3M-1 and T3M-2, building 124.

CS-4 and CS-5

The CS-4 and CS-5 were Naval conversions of which the details haven’t survived.


The XSC-6 was a Martin SC-1 (A6835) that had been given a 730hp Packard 1A-2500 engine


The SC-6 was a second Martin SC-1 (A6824) given a Packard 1A-2500 engine


A single Curtiss CS-1 was given a T-3A engine, allowing it to operate at slightly heavier weights as a torpedo bomber.


SC-2 landplane
Engine: Wright T-3
Power: 600hp
Crew: 3 (Pilot, torpedo-man, gunner)
Span: 56ft 6 7/8in
Length: 37ft 8 3/4in
Height: 14ft 8in
Empty Weight: 5,007lb
Gross Weight: 8,422lb
Maximum Speed: 103mph at sea level
Cruising Speed:
Climb rate: 2,000ft in 10 minutes
Ceiling: 8,000ft
Range: 1,018 miles
Bomb load: One 1,681lb torpedo

Torpedo Bombers 1900-1950, Jean-Denis Lepage. Looks at the fairly short history of the torpedo bomber, focusingly mainly on the aircraft themselves, with a series of historical introductions looking at the development of the torpedo and torpedo bomber, and each of the historical periods the book is split into. The book is built around hundreds of short articles on the individual aircraft, each supported by at least one of the author’s own illustrations. Very useful for the earlier period, and well into the Second World War, perhaps less so later on, reflecting the decline of the actual torpedo bomber!(Read Full Review)
cover cover cover

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 November 2018), Curtiss CS/ Martin SC/ Martin T2M ,

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