No. 11717. Dayton-Wright TW-3 US Army Air Service
Photographed ca. January 1923, source unknown

Dayton-Wright TW-3

12/31/2012. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "As an alternative to the Le Rhône powered TA-3, three TW-3 (Trainer, Watercooled), s/n 22-226, 22-401, and 22-402 were completed with 150 hp Wright-Hispano 1 engines (22-401 went to McCook Field with Project Number P-273). A production contract for twenty TW-3s (s/n 23-1300 to 23-1319), plus enough spare parts for three more, with the 180 hp Wright E and a larger rudder (tested on P-273) was placed with Consolidated on June 14, 1923. Work was started on these by the end of July at a leased part of the Gallaudet factory on Rhode Island.

Official service tests at McCook Field with a TW-3 (s/n 23-1309, Project Number P-338) were flown on June 10, 1924, by Lieutenant Eugene Barksdale. All aircraft had been delivered to Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas, by the end of the year. One TW-3 was transferred to the Navy (BuNo. 6730) and tested at NAS Anacostia with a single main float and outrigger floats on the outer wings. After reverting to a wheeled undercarriage, it was used by the Marine Corps for mosquito spraying.

After the initial deliveries, the radiator design was simplified by Ruben Fleet himself but it and the cowling, both discarded in service, restricted visibility from the side-by-side seat cockpit. Therefore, with the permission of the Army, one aircraft was modified by Consolidated with a narrower fuselage seating two in tandem and unofficially referred to at Brooks Field as the Camel because of the hump between the cockpits.

This improved layout and other revisions were incorporated into the 'TW-8', an unofficial designation used during the competitive trials for a new trainer at Brooks Field during early summer 1924. Whether this was a new airframe, or the 'Camel' is not clear but an out-of-sequence serial (23-1253) has been quoted. Subsequently, this new design was ordered into production as the Consolidated Model 1 PT-1.

One TA-3 and the TA-5 were still at McCook Field in 1927."

Created December 31, 2012