SOC Seagull

SOC Seagull

Infobox Aircraft
name = Curtiss SOC Seagull
type = Scout
manufacturer = Curtiss-Wright

caption = Seagull seaplane configuration in flight
designer =
first flight =
introduced =
retired =
status =
primary user =
more users =
produced =
number built =
unit cost =
variants with their own articles =
The SOC Seagull was a United States single-engined scout observation biplane aircraft designed by Alexander Solla of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation for the United States Navy. The aircraft served on battleships and cruisers in a seaplane configuration, being launched by catapult and recovered from a sea landing. The wings folded back against the fuselage for storage aboard ship. When based ashore the single float was replaced by fixed wheeled landing gear.

Curtiss delivered 258 SOC aircraft, in version SOC-1 through SOC-4 beginning in 1937. The SOC-3 design was the basis of the Naval Aircraft Factory SON-1 variant. The NAF delivered 44 aircraft from 1940.

Design and development

The SOC was first ordered for production by the United States Navy in 1933 and entered service in 1935. The first order was for 135 SOC-1 models, which was followed by 40 SOC-2 models for landing operations and 83 SOC-3s. A variant of the SOC-3 was built by the Naval Aircraft Factory and was known as the SON-1. [ [ US Navy History website] ]

Operational history

By the end of the decade, the SOC had replaced its predecessor throughout the fleet and production came to an end in 1938. By 1941, most battleships had transitioned to the Vought OS2U and cruisers were expected to replace their aging SOCs with the third generation SOC3. However, the SOC3 suffered from a weak engine and plans to adopt it as a replacement were scrapped. The SOC, despite being a craft from an earlier generation, went on to credibly execute its missions of gunfire observation and limited range scouting missions.

Initially, the SOC was known as the XO3C-1 from production up through the first six months of service in the Navy. It was changed to SOC when it was decided to merge its scouting and observation roles. The SOC was not called the Seagull until 1941, when the U.S. Navy began the wholesale adoption of popular names for aircraft in lieu of their alpha-numeric designations.

When operating from ocean vessels, returning SOCs would land on the relatively smooth ocean surface created downstream of the vessel as it made a wide turn, after which the aircraft would be winched back onto deck. [ [ World War II Database/SOC Seagull] ]



*Royal Navy

*Fleet Air Arm


*United States Navy

*United States Coast Guard [ [ "A History of Coast Guard Aviation" by Robert Scheina] ]

pecifications (SOC-1)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
crew=Two, pilot and observer
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 31 ft 1 in
length alt= 9.48 m
span main= 36 ft 0 in
span alt= 10.98 m
height main= 14 ft 9 in
height alt=
area main= 342 ft²
area alt= 31.8 m²
empty weight main= 3,633 lb
empty weight alt= 1,648 kg
loaded weight main= 5,306 lb
loaded weight alt= 2,407 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
more general=
engine (prop)= Pratt & Whitney R-1340-22
type of prop=radial engine
number of props=1
power main= 550 hp
power alt= 410 kW
power original=
max speed main=165 mph
max speed alt= 266 km/h
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 675 mi
range alt= 1,086 km
ceiling main= 14,900 ft
ceiling alt= 4,540 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=16 lb/ft²
loading alt=76 kg/m²
thrust/weight=0.10 hp/lb
power/mass main=0.17 kW/kg
power/mass alt=
more performance=
* 1 x fixed, forward 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine gun
* 1 x flexible rear 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine gun
* 650 lb (295 kg) of bombs





* Bowers, Peter M. "Curtis Aircraft 1907-1947". London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-10029-8.
* Green, William. "War Planes of the Second World War, Volume Six: Floatplanes". London: Macdonald 7 Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1962.
* Larkins, William T. "The Curtiss SOC Seagull (Aircraft in Profile number 194)". Leatherhead, Surrey, UK: Profile Publications Ltd., 1967. OCLC [ 43484775] .
* Larkins, William T. "Battleship and Cruiser Aircraft of the United States Navy". Atglen, PA: Schiffer Books, Inc., 1996. ISBN 0-76430-088-1. OCLC [ 35720248] .

External links

* [ Site on the SOC by Commander Ralph "Kaiser" Wilhelm, USN (Ret.)]
* [ Official U.S. Navy Historical Center site on the SOC with images.]

ee also


similar aircraft=

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