Loening Air Yacht

1928

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Loening Air Yacht

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Barry, 18.03.2016 13:12

What we see here is the C2 Air Yacht of which there were two versions: the C2C powered by a Wright Cyclone (23 built) and the later C2H powered by a 525 h.p. Pratt & Whitney Hornet (13 built). Two of the latter were used by the USMC as air ambulances under the designation XHL-1

Crew 1 Passengers 6 /8
Span 45'0" Length 34'8" Wing area 504 sq ft Gross weight 5,800 lb
Max Speed 120 mph Service ceiling 14,000 ft

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Jim Glover, e-mail, 14.08.2013 13:40

A side item, the aircraft was designed to (with some loss in performance) accept war surplus DH-4 wings and struts which the Army Air Service had in their inventory. It was designed to use a modified inverted Liberty engine, later versions used the Pratt and Whitney radial "Wasp" and the transport version was upgraded to a Wright "Cyclone".

The Army used the aircraft for a four plane group flight through central and South America. I think in 1927. The aircraft really came into it's own when the Pratt engine was installed. The radial air cooled engine was considerably lighter, had more horsepower and avoided the problems of the water cooled Liberty.

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Karl Catob, e-mail, 22.01.2013 17:18

My dad told of an incident involving a riverbank landing in Nicaragua cir. 1930, the marine pilot exited the aircraft to do a walk-around check with the engine running. The acft had settled into the sand, causing the propeller to be closer to the ground, striking the pilot in the head. Though fatally injured, he wrote a parting note to his wife, while attended to by his plane captain as I recall the story. Both my dad, Pvt Karl A Catob, USMC and my uncle, Irwin Barlass served as mechanics on the Loenings, Curtis and Vaught fighters, and trimotors at Managua, Nicaragua in 1930 /31.My dad had graduated from Heath Aviation in Chicago, as pilot /mechanic prior to enlisting in the Corps. Another tale was of a Loening sinking on takeoff due to an unsecured hatch. It was recovered from the river. My dad loved the Loening, and accumulated several hours of flying in it as crew.The crew passed notes and used hand signals to communicate in flight.

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Kurt Catob, e-mail, 04.07.2012 17:20

My father Karl, a Marine at the time, told me of an experience, I believe in Nicaragua during the 1920's Sandino days, Where one of these was doing photo recon duty, the photographer takin his pics through the hull portholes.

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Klaatu, e-mail, 09.05.2011 16:05

I believe Grover Cleveland Loening had the distinction of earning the world's first college degree in aeronautical engineering. Although this odd-looking airplane, which was his most famous creation, may not have been very pretty, it was the first really practical amphibian aircraft. In addition to the civilian "Air Yacht" version, many military versions were sold to the Army, Navy and Coast Guard. When Loening's firm was bought out, one of his employees. Leroy Grumman, remained in Long Island and started his own aircraft manufacturing company. Leoning allowed Grumman to use his patented design for the float and retractable landing gear, which Grumman incorporated into his own highly-successful JF and J2F "Ducks".

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L. Browne, e-mail, 08.03.2011 23:41

I was honored to meet, Grover Loening in 1969. I was a 19 year old Aviation Technology student at, Southern Illinois University. Mr. Loening spoke at our, "Alpha Eta Rho" fraternity, annual banquet. He gave an autographed copy of his book, "Take Off Into Greatness" to our aviation library.
More information about his aircraft could be found in his book.

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Sid Gally, e-mail, 08.10.2010 17:47

My first flight as a youngster was in a Loening from Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, California to Alhambra, California. Took of from water and landed on land.

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A. Fin France, e-mail, 04.03.2010 04:37

When I was 12 yrs old, living in Coronado, CA I had my first flight in an air plane in the Navy version of this airplane-biggest thrill of my life. My next door neighbor, Lt Edwards, took his two kids and me for a ride to the Navy Base, North Island one Sunday. When we got there A Loening amphibian was parked on the ramp leading into San Diego Bay. We three kids got into the radio compartment under the rear cockpit. We took turns sitting on a mechanics lap in the rear seat while Lt Edwards flew us up and down the bay and over our houses. What a thrill.

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Robert L. Willett, e-mail, 25.02.2010 02:31

The Loening was the first aircraft used by China Ational Aviation Corporation in the late 1920s and early thirties. It flew with many stops, between Chunking and Shanghai using the Yangtze River as its airfields. America's first ace in WWII, Paul Baer, was killed in CNAC's first fatal accident while taking off from the Whampoo River.

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C.K.Hixenbaugh, e-mail, 30.05.2008 21:25

This is the first aircraft I ever went aloft in.
About 1939. Open cockpit with room for one pass.
Interior had a bench along each side. I would say
there was room for 6 to 8 people whether it could
lift that much I don't know. The pilot was barnstorming
up and down the Monongahela river. Landing and taking off
on the water.

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Ray Minichiello, Rm3c, 1934, 21.05.2008 02:03

We had a Loening aircraft at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Squantum, MA about 1934 to later, 1938.
The Radioman or passenger seat was way down below in the base of the hull where one climbed down to. A small port hole on each side Take off and landing the port hole was under water and so were you. A thrill compartment!
The aircraft was piloted by Lt. Cmdr. John "Jack" Shea,then Captain of th Base, later Operations Officer of the USS Wasp CV-7.

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