Curtiss AT-4

The Curtiss AT-4 was an unsuccessful attempt to produce an advanced trainer by fitting a less powerful engine in a standard P-1 airframe.

Boeing and Curtiss both produced prototypes for advanced trainers using this idea. Boeing installed an 180hp Wright-Hispano E engine in a PW-9A to produce their XAT-3. Curtiss used the same engine and installed it in one of the Curtiss P-1A Hawks to produce the XAT-4, which was delivered on 1 July 1926. The Curtiss design was considered to be the more successful, and the AT-4 was ordered into production. Forty were ordered, but only thirty-five were completed as the AT-4. The last five were given 220hp Wright engines and completed as the AT-5.

It soon became clear that the basic idea was flawed. Although power had been reduced, the aircraft's weight and wing loading had not, so the AT-4 handled very differently to the fighters it was meant to replicate. The Army decided to cut its losses. The thirty-five AT-4s were re-engined with the same V-1150-3 that was used on the P-1, and became P-1Ds. During their brief service career the AT-4s and AT-5s were used by the 43rd School Squadron (later became the 43rd Fighter Squadron).

Engine: Wright-Hispano E
Power: 180hp
Crew: 1
Span: 31ft 6in
Length: 23ft 1.75in
Height: 8ft 6.5in
Empty weight: 1,847lb
Gross weight: 2,484lb
Max speed: 133mph
Climb Rate: 950ft/ min
Service ceiling: 16,400ft
Range: 535 miles

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 January 2013), Curtiss AT-4 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_curtiss_AT-4.html

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