Last of Their Kind

Airplanes without equal at the National Air and Space Museum

(Library of Congress)

Curtiss R3C-2

(Eric Long)

Even encumbered with floats, the Curtiss R3C-2 was a speed demon. With Jimmy Doolittle at the controls, the seaplane version of the R3C-1 land racer won the Schneider Cup Race, held in Baltimore in October 1925, with an average speed of 232.57 mph. The next day, Doolittle set a straight-course record of 245.7 mph. The R3C-1 had won the Pulitzer Trophy Race just two weeks earlier, at nearly 249 mph. Transferred from the War Department in 1927. Restored by the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force while on loan. Sole survivor.


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