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Orenco D / D2 / PW-3

The Orenco D was an American biplane fighter aircraft, designed by Orenco and built by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company.

It was the first fighter type of completely indigenous design to enter US military service.

The D prototype was offered to the US Army Air Service at the end of 1918.

It was a two-bay biplane of all-wood construction, covered with fabric.

It was powered by a 300 hp (224 kW) Hispano-Suiza engine.

The pilot of the first flight test, Clarence B. Coombs, gave it a positive evaluation:

“This aircraft performs better than the Sopwith Camel and Snipe, the Thomas-Morse, the Nieuport and Morane Parasol, the Spad and S.V.A.”. 

The military ordered 50 production aircraft but put the production order up for bidding.

Curtiss Aircraft entered the lowest bid and built the fighter, modifying it slightly with a wider wingspan and redesigned ailerons.

The first Curtiss Orenco D flew on 26 August 1921.


Orenco D

Prototype, four built

Curtiss Orenco D

Production aircraft, 50 built.

Orenco D-2/PW-3

Prototype based on Curtiss Orenco D

Three built under the military designation PW-3.





21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)


8 ft 3 in (2.51 m)

Upper Wingspan

30 ft (9.1 m)


142 sq ft (13.2 m2)

Lower wingspan

28 ft (8.5 m)


119 sq ft (11.1 m2)

Total wing area (including ailerons)

261 sq ft (24.2 m2)

Wing gap

52 in (1,300 mm)

Wing stagger

12 in (300 mm)

Empty weight

1,666 lb (756 kg)

Gross weight

2,432 lb (1,103 kg)


One × Wright-Hispano H 300 hp (220 kW)

Fuel Capacity

330 lb (150 kg)



At sea level

147 mph (237 km/h)


10,000 ft (3,000 m)

139 mph (224 km/h)

Time to climb

5,000 ft (1,500 m): 4 min 20 s

10,000 ft (3,000 m): 8 min 54 s

15,000 ft (4,600 m): 16 min 45 s

Service ceiling

12,450 ft (3,790 m)

Range at full speed

275 mi (443 km)


2 × .30 in (7.6 mm) machine guns.

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