Curtiss Fledgling

For the later aircraft of the same name, see Curtiss AT-9

The Curtiss Fledgling, known internally to Curtiss as the Model 48 and Model 51 was a trainer aircraft developed for the United States Navy in the late 1920s and known in that service as the N2C.

Model 48, Model 51, and N2C Fledgling
Curtiss N2C-2 Naval Aviation Museum
A Curtiss N2C-2 at the National Museum of Naval Aviation
Role Trainer
Manufacturer Curtiss
Designer Theodore Paul Wright
First flight 1927
Primary user United States Navy, Curtiss Flying Service
Number built ca. 160
Variants Curtiss Lark, Curtiss Carrier Pigeon

Design and development

The Fledgling was designed in response to a 1927 Navy requirement for a new primary trainer, and was selected after evaluation in competition with fourteen other submissions. The Fledgling was a conventional biplane design with two-bay, staggered wings of equal span braced with N-struts. The pilot and instructor sat in tandem, open cockpits, and the fixed tailskid undercarriage could be easily swapped for a large central pontoon and outrigger floats under the wings for seaplane training. The Navy ordered two batches of the Fledgling, each powered by different versions of the Wright Whirlwind engine, both of which were built under the Curtiss designation Model 48.

Believing the design to have commercial potential, Curtiss developed the Model 51 as a civil equivalent powered by the less powerful Curtiss Challenger engine. The company operated 109 of these aircraft in its own air taxi service, the Curtiss Flying Service during the 1930s. A number of these aircraft were experimentally fitted with the same Wright engines used in their military counterparts as the J-1 and J-2, but these were not produced in quantity. Another experimental variant, the reduced-wingspan Fledgling Junior was produced to the extent of a single prototype only. A number of Model 51s were exported to foreign military services for evaluation: four to Canada and one to Czechoslovakia, but these did not lead to any purchases. Curtiss also delivered at least seven N2C-1 kits to Turkey in 1933, as part of an agreement to produce the Curtiss Hawk Model 35 under licence in Turkey. These N2C-1s were used as trainers and liaison aircraft by the Turkish Air Force until 1945. At least one N2C-1 is thought to have been given to Iran as a gift from the Turkish Air Force.


Curtiss N2C-2 NAF drone 1938-39
An N2C-2 target drone, in 1938/39.
Curtiss XN2C-1 floatplane Aero Digest April 1928
Curtiss XN2C-1 floatplane photo from Aero Digest April 1928
Model 48
Navy prototypes (3 built)
Navy version powered by Wright J-5 Whirlwind (31 built)
Navy version powered by Wright J-6-7 Whirlwind (20 built)
Model 51
commercial version with Curtiss Challenger engine (109 built)
commercial version with Wright J-6-5 Whirlwind engine (four converted)
commercial version with Wright J-6-7 Whirlwind engine built to N2C-2 standard (two converted)
Fledgling Junior
reduced wingspan version (one built)
Fledgling Guardsman
convertible civil-military challenger powered versions.
designation assigned by the United States Army Air Corp USAAC for use of the Fledgling as a radio-controlled target aircraft


Argentina (2 aviones en la Aviación Militar)

  • Four aircraft.
  • One aircraft only.
 United States


Specifications (N2C-1)

Curtiss XN2C-1 3-view Le Document aéronautique November,1928
Curtiss XN2C-1 3-view drawing from Le Document aéronautique November,1928

Data from Curtiss aircraft : 1907-1947[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)
  • Wingspan: 39 ft 2 in (11.93 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 4 in (3.14 m)
  • Wing area: 365 sq ft (33.9 m2)
  • Airfoil: Curtiss C-72[2]
  • Empty weight: 2,135 lb (968 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,832 lb (1,285 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright J-5 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 220 hp (160 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed fixed pitch propeller


  • Maximum speed: 108.7 mph (174.9 km/h, 94.5 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 87 mph (140 km/h, 76 kn)
  • Range: 366 mi (589 km, 318 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 15,100 ft (4,600 m)
  • Rate of climb: 695 ft/min (3.53 m/s)


  1. ^ Bowers, Peter M. (1979). Curtiss aircraft : 1907-1947. London: Putnam. pp. 200–205. ISBN 0-370-10029-8.
  2. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.

Further reading

  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 282.
  • World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. pp. File 891 Sheet 49.

External links

Border Flight

Border Flight is a 1936 American aviation drama film directed by Otho Lovering and written by Stuart Anthony, Arthur J. Beckhard and Ewing Scott. The film stars Frances Farmer, John Howard, Roscoe Karns, Robert Cummings, Grant Withers and Samuel S. Hinds. Border flight was based on the exploits of the US Coast Guard pilots, based in San Diego. In Aviation in the Cinema (1985), aviation film historian Stephen Pendo considered Border Flight, a drama that "detailed the aerial activities of the United States Coast Guard fighting a gang of smugglers."

Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company

Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company was an American aircraft manufacturer formed in 1916 by Glenn Hammond Curtiss. After significant commercial success in the 'teens and 20s, it merged with the Wright Aeronautical in 1929 to form Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

Curtiss Model 41 Lark

The Curtiss Model 41 Lark was a commercial biplane manufactured by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company that was used by pioneering airmail, airline and bush pilots in the 1920s.

Eagles Mere Air Museum

Eagles Mere Air Museum is an aviation museum located on Merritt Field on the outskirts of Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania in North Central Pennsylvania. The museumhas 35 vintage aircraft from 1913 to 1944, as well as hundreds of other aviation related items pertaining to that era, including photos, engines and aircraft components.


Fledgling or Fledglings may refer to:

Curtiss Fledgling, a trainer aircraft

Fergie's Fledglings, a group of Manchester United players recruited under the management of Alex Ferguson

Fledgling (birds), a young bird that has recently left its nest but is still dependent on parental care and feeding

Fledgling (insect), an insect that has just fledged, i.e. undergone its final moult to become an adult or imago.

Fledgling (novel), a 2005 science fiction novel by Octavia Butler

Fledgling, a 2009 novel of the Liaden universe

List of Brazilian military aircraft

List of Brazilian military aircraft is a list of historic military aircraft that have served with the Brazilian Armed Forces since the creation of its first aviation units in the early 1900s.

List of Interwar military aircraft

Interwar military aircraft are military aircraft that were developed and used between World War I and World War II, also known as the Golden Age of Aviation.

For the purposes of this list this is defined as aircraft that entered service into any country's military after the armistice on 11 November 1918 and before the Invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939.

Aircraft are listed alphabetically by their country of origin. Civilian aircraft modified for military use are included but those that remained primarily civilian aircraft are not.

List of aircraft (Co–Cz)

This is a list of aircraft in alphabetical order beginning with 'Co' through to 'Cz'.

List of aircraft of the Argentine Air Force

This is a list of all fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft operated by the Argentine Air Force since its formation in 1945, and by its predecessor (the Army Aviation Service) since 1912 to 1945.

Prototypes and aircraft evaluated but not used operationally are excluded. Aircraft are listed under the main role in which they were used for most of their operational life.

For the current inventory see the list of active aircraft of the Argentine Air Force.

Museu Aeroespacial

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Parachute Jumper

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Rose Lok (pilot)

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Tailspin Tommy (serial)

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The White Sister (1933 film)

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The Woman I Love

The Woman I Love (also known as Escadrille and The Woman Between) is a 1937 American film about a romantic triangle involving two World War I fighter pilots and the wife of one of them. It stars Paul Muni, Miriam Hopkins, and Louis Hayward. Anatole Litvak's Hollywood directorial debut was a remake of his French film L'Equipage, which was, in turn, based on Joseph Kessel's novel of the same name.

Yukon Flight

Yukon Flight (also known as Renfrew of the Royal Mounted in Yukon Flight) is a 1940 American film directed by Ralph Staub and starring James Newill, Louise Stanley, Dave O'Brien and William Pawley. Released by Monogram Pictures, the film uses a musical/action formula, similar to the format of the "singing cowboy" films of the era.

Curtiss and Curtiss-Wright aircraft
Operator and role
USN/USMC trainer aircraft designations 1922-1948
North American
Naval Aircraft Factory
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USAAF drone aircraft
Controllable bombs
Target control aircraft
Aerial target (subscale)
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