W. Starling Burgess : Massachusetts Aviation Pioneer
Object ID:
2015.11.64
VE Exhibit Label 1:
Model K
The Burgess Company and Curtis Model K was a two place tandem, pusher type flying boat built for the U.S. Navy, designed by Burgess and designated as U.S.N D–1. The order was placed in February/March 1913 and there was one built. Its first flight was April 14, 1913 piloted by W. Starling Burgess. Frank Coffyn started pre–delivery flight and water tests at Marblehead on April 16, 1913. It was delivered on May 17, 1913.

The Model K was powered by a Renault 8 cly 70 hp air cooled engine with a fan blower, a maximum speed of 62 mph and had a Chauviere 9'6" propeller. Burgess serial # K–36 was displayed on the hull. It had a span of 43' upper wing & 36' lower wing, a length of 30'9", hull length 29"6", chord 5'6", gap 5"10" and height of 8"10".

Installed equipment specified in the contract included a compass, altimeter, inclinometer, airspeed indicator, chart boards and Wright controls for the entire upper wing panels that could easily be warped with the aviator's levers.

The Model K was accepted by the U.S. Navy on May 17, 1913 and designated U.S.N. D–1. It was re–designated AB–6 in December 1914, long after it was destroyed in February 1914. Initial use was to test various control systems being reviewed by the Navy Department, including Deperdussin, Nieuport and variations of both types. It crashed at Pensacola on February 16, 1914 and the pilot, Ltjg. James M. Murray drowned after stalling this aircraft while maneuvering at 200'. Murray had been assigned to special duty at the Burgess Company in January 1913 and had flown with Coffyn at Marblehead on the acceptance flights of the Model K, D–1 in May.
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