Curtiss D-12

Curtiss D-12 aircraft engine at the New England Air Museum

Specifications

Type:   12-cylinder, water-cooled, “V” piston
Turbine:   
Compressor:   
Displacement:   1,145 cu. in
Weight:   693 lbs.
Power Output:   400 hp @ 2,000 rpm
Year:   1921
NEAM Id:   67
Location:   Connector between Military and Civil Hangars

The D-12 was a 12-cylinder, water-cooled, V-type engine that was introduced in 1921. It became a successful and popular engine of the 1920's in military aircraft and Curtiss racing airplanes because of its relatively low frontal area. Arthur Nutt designed the D-12 as an improvement to the earlier Curtiss K-12. The engine has cast cylinder blocks for each bank of 6 cylinders and 4 valves per cylinder. The power output was about 400 hp at 2,000 rpm.

When it powered the Fairey Fox in 1925, the fastest airplane in England, it inspired Rolls-Royce to develop its famous Merlin engine. It was used in mail planes until the Pratt & Whitney 9-cylinder, air-cooled engine came along.

This example was manufactured in 1921. The D-12 was a great step forward in liquid-cooled engines and influenced inline military and racing engines through the start of World War II.

Please contact Nick Hurley, Museum Curator, by email if you have any information or comments on the Curtiss D-12.


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