In the 1930s the US Army notified Curtiss Wright of its requirements for a two-seat observation aircraft. As a result Curtiss designed their Model 85 aircraft, which showed that efforts had clearly been made to confer good low-speed manoeuverability and landing characteristics. Ordered into production in 1939, some 203 Owls were built for the US Army under the designation O-52, with deliveries beginning in 1940. None, however, were used in first-line service, all being directed for use in training roles.
Additional information on this aircraft
can be found at Wikipedia
(updated February 2009)
Curtiss O-52 Owl
Type: observation aircraft Crew: 2: Pilot, observer/gunner Armament: one .30 cal forward firing machine gun one .30 cal rear firing machine gun Specifications: Length: 26' 4" (8.03 m) Height: 9' 3.25" (2.83 m) Wingspan: 40' 9.5" (12.43 m) Wing area: 210.4 sq. ft (19.55 sq. m) Empty Weight: 4231 lb (1919 kg) Max Weight: 5364 lb (2433 kg) max at takeoff Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-1340-51 Wasp radial Horsepower: 600 hp Performance: Range: 700 miles (1127 km) Cruise Speed: 192 mph ( 309 km/h) Max Speed: 220 mph ( 354 km/h) Ceiling: 21,000 ft (6400 m)
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