In 1940, the Air Corps
ordered 203 Curtiss O-52s for observation duties. Upon delivery, the
airplane was used in military manoeuvres with the U.S.A., but following
America's entry into WW II, the AAF determined that the airplane did
not possess sufficient performance for "modern" combat operations in
over-sea areas. As a result, the O-52 was relegated to courier duties
within the U.S.A. and short-range submarine patrol over the Gulf of
Mexico and Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
The O-52 was the last
"O" type airplane procured in quantity for the Air Corps. Following the
attack on Pearl Harbour, the "O" designation was cancelled and "L" for
liaison type airplanes was adopted to replace it.
Span: 40 ft. 9 1/2 in.
Length: 26 ft. 4 3/4 in.
Height: 9 ft. 11 1/2 in.
Weight: 5,364 lbs. loaded
Armament: One forward and one rearward firing .30-cal. machine
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340-51 of 600 hp.
Serial Number: 40-2763
Maximum speed: 215 mph.
Cruising speed: 169 mph.
Range: 455 miles
Service Ceiling: 23,200 ft.