NAF-built TS-1, as a floatplane.
US Navy Photo.
|Manufacturer||Naval Aircraft Factory & Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company|
|Designed by||Bureau of Aeronautics|
|Primary user||U.S. Navy|
While the Vought VE-7s were serving the Navy well in the early 1920s, they were not originally designed as fighters. The Naval Aircraft Factory came up with a simple design driven by a 200 hp Lawrance J-1 air-cooled radial engine. Its boxy fuselage was suspended between the upper and lower wings, with the center area of the lower wing enlarged to accommodate a fuel tank.
The NAF gave the plans over to Curtiss to build, and the result, designated TS-1, arrived at Anacostia on 9 May 1922. The TS-1 from Curtiss was delivered with wheels, so the NAF also designed wooden floats to enable their use on vessels other than aircraft carriers. Testing went well, and in late 1922 the Navy ordered 34 planes from Curtiss, with the first arriving on board USS Langley (CV-1) in December. The NAF built another five themselves, as a test of relative costs, as well as four more used to experiment with water-cooled inline engine (aviation)s.
With the adoption of the 1922 United States Navy aircraft designation system, the aircraft were redesignated FC-1.
The two F4C-1s were an all-metal version developed by Curtiss. It made its first flight on 4 September 1924. The wings had tubular spars and stamped dural ribs, the fuselage was constructed of dural tubing in a Warren truss form. Compared to the TS-1, the lower wing was raised to the base of the fuselage. The F4C-1 was armed with two 7.62 mm machine guns and was powered by a 200 hp nine-cylinder Wright J-3 radial.
In addition to operating from the carrier deck, the TS-1s served for several years in floatplane configuration aboard destroyers, cruisers, and battleships. The aircraft were slung over the side by crane. Squadron VO-1 operated this way from 1922, and VF-1 flew its float-equipped TS-1s from battleships in 1925 and 1926.
Data from "United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911" by Gordon Swanborough & Peter M. Bowers, ISBN 0870219685, 1976, page 333.
1 fixed forward-firing 0.3 in Browning machine gun