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Consolidated PT-1 Trusty

United States (1924)
Picture of Consolidated PT-1 Trusty Primary Trainer Biplane Aircraft
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The Consolidated PT-1 Trusty represented the first aircraft purchase of the Army Air Service since the closing shots of World War 1 in 1918.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Consolidated PT-1 Trusty Primary Trainer Biplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 3/29/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The "Trusty" was a product of the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation (though designed under the brand of the Dayton-Wright Company, itself a company under parent General Motors) and accepted for service as a primary trainer of the United States Army Air Service in 1921. The PT-1 made a name for herself as a stable and responsive platform (hence the nickname of "Trusty"), garnering the confidence of many early American military pilots. The system was of an advanced design when compared to the earlier all-wooden types of World War 1 and became the first aircraft to be ordered in any quantity by the USAAS (United States Army Air Service - as the American air force was still a part of the army at this time) after the end of hostilities in World War 1.

Externally, the PT-1 appeared as a biplane aircraft with a simple two-wheel undercarriage, an engine mounted at the front of the design, a traditional tail section and twin side-by-side seating for instructor and student. Internally, the aircraft featured a strengthened structure of welded tubing and a choice of a Clerget or Le Rhone engines. The Dayton-Wright Company approached the USAAS to replace their World War 1-era Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" series of trainers and was in turn asked to deliver three TA-3 models for evaluation. Though the design itself proved promising enough, the TA-3 (designated with an "A" for its air-cooled engine operation) was delivered by request with an uprated Le Rhone engine of 110 horsepower. Still further evaluation models were ordered, this time with the requested Wright-Hispano I V-8, 150 horsepower engine of increased power (designated TW-3 with the "W" standing for its water-cooled engine process) finally culminating in an official order by the USAAS.

Production rights for the trainer were secured by the newly-created Consolidated Aircraft Company (established by Reuben Fleet of the Gallaudet firm) as General Motors was reviewing their commitment to aircraft production in a post-war world and would eventually shut down operations at Dayton-Wright altogether. The TW-3 was delivered by 1923 and became the first notable variant of the "Trusty" production line.

Improvements to the TW-3 design continued and included the removal of the engine cowling (for improved forward cockpit visibility) and a redesigned fuselage in a slimmer form with tandem instructor/student seating (this model being known as the "Camel" for the visible bump appearing between the two seating areas). The Camel was evaluated under the (unofficial) designation TW-8 and accepted into service as the PT-1 with 221 being delivered beginning 1924 and replacing the TW-3's in service. The PT-1 educated generations of aviators from the middle of the 1920's into the 1930's.

The PT-1 would eventually be replaced itself by the Consolidated PT-3 from 1928 onwards.


Picture of the Consolidated PT-1 Trusty Primary Trainer Biplane Aircraft
Picture of the Consolidated PT-1 Trusty Primary Trainer Biplane Aircraft



Any available statistics for the Consolidated PT-1 Trusty Primary Trainer Biplane Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (92mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Consolidated PT-1 Trusty's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
221
221


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1924
Type: Primary Trainer Biplane Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Consolidated / Dayton-Wright - USA
Production: 221
Global Operators:
Siam (Thailand); United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Consolidated PT-1 Trusty model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
27.76 ft


Meters
8.46 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
34.45 ft


Meters
10.5 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.84 ft


Meters
3 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,806 lb


Kilograms
819 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,577 lb


Kilograms
1,169 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Wright-Hispano E 8-cylinder water-cooled Vee engine developing 180 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
92 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
148 kph


Knots
80 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
350 mi


Kilometers
563 km


Nautical Miles
304 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
13,448 ft


Meters
4,099 m


Miles
2.55 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
690 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
210 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• TA-3 - Dayton-Wright Production; fitted with Le Rhone C-9 series engine of 80 horsepower.
• TA-5 - Single Production Model Example; fitted with Lawrance J-1 series engine; based on the TA-3 production model.
• TW-3 - Dayton-Wright and Consolidated production models; Dayton-Wright fitted with water-cooled Wright-Hispano E series engines of 150 horsepower and Consolidated fitted with Wright-Hispano E series engines of 180 horsepower.
• PT-1 - Base Series Designation; fitted with Wright-Hispano E series engines of 180 horsepower; 221 examples produced; replaced TW-3.
• XPT-2 - PT-1 model fitted with Wright R-790 series radial J-5 engine of 225 horsepower.
• TW-8 - Unofficial Prototype Model Designation; known as the "Camel" for the visible hump between instructor and student seating positions.
• Consolidated Model 1 - Consolidated Model Designation of the TW-8 prototype.