Aeromarine 40 - United States, 1918
Detailing the development and operational history of the Aeromarine 40 Flying Boat Trainer Biplane Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 10/23/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Aeromarine 40 floatplane series saw only 50 built from the original 200-strong production contract thanks to the end of World War 1.
The Aeromarine Model 40 (or simply "Aeromarine 40") was a two-seat flying boat trainer aircraft serving the United States Navy. The aircraft was produced by the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company of Keyport, New Jersey, and had already made a name for itself by supplying the US Navy with its first carrier-landed aircraft in the Aeromarine Model 39, detailed elsewhere on this site. Whereas the Model 39 could be utilized as a land-based and flying boat aircraft equally (requiring the conversion of the undercarriage to suit each task), the Model 40 was a dedicated flying boat.
Design was conventional for the time, consisting of a contoured boat-like hull fitted to a boxy fuselage mounting a large unequal-span biplane wing configuration. Single pontoons were fitted as outrigger floats, one per each lower wing assembly. The upper and lower wing assemblies were joined by parallel struts making up two bays and fitting appropriate cabling. The student and instructor sat side-by-side just behind the nose and in front of the wing structure in an open-air cockpit. The view was superb from this position with their forward views protected by two simple curved windscreens. The empennage was adorned with a conventional large-area vertical fin and horizontal tailplane system showcasing rounded edges. The powerplant was placed within a strut configuration supporting the upper and lower wing assemblies at mid-span. The engine was situated well above and just behind the pilots, sporting a two-bladed pusher propeller system powered by a single Curtiss OXX-6 series V-8 water-cooled engine producing an output of roughly 100 horsepower (some later Model 40's were known to fit a Hispano-brand engine in its place). Performance from this pusher arrangement allowed for speeds of up to 71 miles-per-hour with a service ceiling of nearly 1,900 feet. Endurance was listed at about 4.5 hours of flight time.
200 Model 40's were initially ordered by the US Navy in 1918. The end of the war in November ultimately signified the end of the production contract, leaving only 50 Model 40 examples produced. Model 40's still managed to see service in the post-war world solely with the United States Navy, encompassing the early and fascinating inter-war years in America. Overall, their operational use proved the airframe too fragile for the constant rigors of water-born operations, to which these results helped in future American flying boat designs. The Aeromarine Model 40 was further developed into the Model 41 to which some existing Model 40's were converted to this newer design.