The U.S. Navy-Curtiss Flying Boat NC-4: An Account of the First Transatlantic Flight

The U.S. Navy-Curtiss Flying Boat NC-4: An Account of the First Transatlantic Flight

Product no.: 978-1-62545-009-8
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  • Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, this fascinating work describes an early part of aviation history
  • Original analysis with some startling conclusions
  • Profusely illustrated with many rare and unpublished photographs

When human’s learned, in 1903, they could cruise over land in a heavier than air flying machine, they never dreamed of using an advanced model of the aeroplane as an instrument of war. The novelty of flying intrigued a young Glenn H. Curtiss – an inventor obsessed with speed. In the decade before the First World War, Curtiss, a dedicated tinkerer, developed speedy float planes and flying boats, which came to the attention of the U.S. Navy.

During the run-up to America’s involvement in the European war, ships carrying supplies to allies were being destroyed by the German U-boats. It was because of these losses of men and material that Navy brass decided a long-range bomber should be developed to counter the German submarine menace. It was then Glenn Curtiss was contracted to draw plans for a large flying boat capable of flying across the Atlantic. Initially, four flying boats were built, but by this time the war had ended and the mission of the flying boats no longer existed. However, America decided to send its new giant flying machines across the Atlantic as a show of Yankee know-how.


Richard V. Simpson is a native Rhode Islander and a graphic designer by trade. After retiring from a 29-year Federal Civil Service career, he became an antique dealer and a non-fiction writer. His in-depth knowledge of antique glass and porcelain, and his specialty of glass paperweights, encouraged him to write for the national Antiques and Collecting Magazine, which published eighty-five of his articles. As his home town’s historian, he began writing histories of Bristol and Bristol-related subjects. He has written five books about the America's Cup yachts and this is his third book on a military subject.

Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Binding: paperback
Extent: 128 pages
Illustrations: 66 black-and-white illustrations

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