Vought VE-7 Bluebird

The Vought VE-7 Bluebird was an early biplane of the United States.

First flying in 1917, it was designed as a two-seat trainer for the United States Army, then adopted by the United States Navy as its first fighter aircraft.

In 1922, a VE-7 became the first airplane to take off from an American aircraft carrier.


VE-7 (1918)

14 built for the U.S. Army Air Service; 39 built for the U.S. Navy; (one of two known, built at McCook Field. Reportedly four more were built by Springfield Co)

VE-7F (1921)

29 built for the U.S. Navy

VE-7G (1921)

One converted from VE-7 for U.S. Marine Corps, 23 converted from VE-7 for U.S. Navy

VE-7GF (1921) 

One converted from VE-7

VE-7H (1924)

  Nine observation seaplanes built for the U.S. Navy

VE-7S (1925)

One converted from VE-7

VE-7SF (1925)

11 built for the U.S. Navy


One VE-7SF converted into a floatplane.

VE-8 (1918) 

Four ordered by the U.S. Army on October 11, 1918; two were cancelled; 340 hp Wright-Hispano H engine installed, two Vickers guns, wingspan decreased to 31 ft (9.4 m), wing area increased to 307 sq ft (28.5 m2), shortened to 21 ft 4 in (6.50 m), speed increased to 140 mph (230 km/h), loaded weight increased to 2,435 lb (1,104 kg)

VE-9 (1921) 

Two converted from VE-7 for U.S. Army; speed increased to 119 mph (192 km/h), service ceiling increased to 18,840 ft (5,740 m)

VE-9 (1927)

  22 built for the U.S. Army, 17 built for the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Army used same designation as U.S. Navy)

VE-9H (1927) 

Four unarmed observation float seaplanes built for the U.S. Navy battleships, modified vertical tail surfaces for improved catapult and water stability







24 ft 5.375 in (7.45 m)


34 ft 4 in (10.47 m)


8 ft 7.5 in (2.63 m)

Wing area

284.5 sq ft (26.43 m2)



Empty weight

1,392 lb (631 kg)

Gross weight

1,937 lb (879 kg)


1 × Wright-Hispano E-3 liquid cooled V-8, 180 hp (134 kW)


2-bladed, 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m) diameter wooden fixed pitch propeller


Maximum speed

106 mph (171 km/h, 92 kn)


290 mi (467 km, 250 nmi)

Service ceiling

15,000 ft (4,600 m)

Rate of climb

738 ft/min (3.75 m/s)




1 x .30 in (7.62 mm) Vickers machine gun machine gun synchronized to fire through the propeller.



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