The Douglas T2D was an American twin-engine torpedo bomber that was commissioned by the military to be operational on both wheels and floats, and capable of operating from aircraft carriers.
It holds the distinction of being the first twin-engine aircraft to be deployed from an aircraft carrier.
In 1925, the Bureau of Aeronautics of the United States Navy designed a twin-engine torpedo bomber aircraft with the aim of achieving superior performance compared to contemporary single-engine aircraft.
The Naval Aircraft Factory constructed a single prototype, the XTN-1, which was soon followed by three identical aircraft built by Douglas, the T2D-1.
The XTN/T2D was a large two-bay biplane that could be easily converted between floats and wheels and had a crew capacity of four.
On 25 May 1927, the first three T2D-1’s were delivered to the torpedo bomber squadron VT-2 and were successfully tested aboard the aircraft carrier Langley.
An additional nine T2D-1’s were ordered in 1927 and were typically operated as floatplanes.
This was partly due to criticism from the Army regarding the Navy’s operation of large land-based bombers, and partly because the T2D-1’s large size prevented Langley from accommodating a full airwing.
In June 1930, an additional 18 aircraft were ordered as patrol floatplanes, designated as P2D-1.
These were operated by Patrol Squadron VP-3 in the Panama Canal Zone until they were replaced by Consolidated PBYs in 1937. Variants XTN-1 Original prototype built by Naval Aircraft Factory. One built. T2D-1 Production aircraft, convertible torpedo bomber/patrol floatplane, powered by Wright R-1750 Cyclones. 12 built. P2D-1 Dedicated patrol floatplane. Fitted with twin tails for improved engine outperformance and is powered by two Wright R-1820 Cyclones. 18 built. Specifications T2D-1 landplane / floatplane. Crew 4 Length 42 ft (13 m) (landplane) 44 ft 4 in (13.51 m) (floatplane) Wingspan 57 ft (17 m) Height 15 ft 11 in (4.85 m) (landplane) 44 ft 4 in (13.51 m) (floatplane) Wing area 886 sq ft (82.3 m2) Empty weight 6,011 lb (2,727 kg) (landplane) 6,528 lb (2,961 kg) (floatplane) Gross weight 9,986 lb (4,530 kg) (landplane) 10,503 lb (4,764 kg) (floatplane) Max take-off weight 10,523 lb (4,773 kg) (landplane) 11,040 lb (5,010 kg) (floatplane) Powerplant 2 × Wright R-1750 Cyclone 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 525 hp (391 kW) each Propellers 3-bladed fixed-pitch metal propellers Performance Maximum speed 125 mph (201 km/h, 109 kn) at sea level (landplane) 124 mph (108 kn; 200 km/h) at sea level (floatplane) Range 457 mi (735 km, 397 nmi) (landplane) 384 mi (334 nmi; 618 km) (floatplane) Ferry range 454 mi (731 km, 395 nmi) (floatplane) Service ceiling 13,830 ft (4,220 m) (landplane) 11,400 ft (3,500 m) (floatplane) Time to altitude 5,000 ft (1,500 m) in 5 minutes 54 seconds (landplane) 5,000 ft (1,500 m) in 7 minutes 42 seconds (floatplane) Wing loading 11.4 lb/sq ft (56 kg/m2) (landplane) 11.9 lb/sq ft (58 kg/m2) (floatplane) Power/mass 0.105 hp/lb (0.173 kW/kg) (landplane) 0.1 hp/lb (0.16 kW/kg) (floatplane) Armament Guns 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns Bombs 1 ×1,618 lb (734 kg) torpedo Or Equivalent bombload. Sources McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company 1st 75 Years Aviation Book-McDonnell Douglas. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920, Volume 1-René J Francillon. San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.