Own a One-of-a-Kind Curtiss Speedwing

A piece of aviation history is up for sale.

Curtiss Wright Speedwing

Curtiss Wright Speedwing

Photo by Deborah Richardson

If you have always dreamed of owning an unique airplane, one that nobody else in the world has, this is your chance to fulfill that quest. The Aerospace Museum of California is selling its 1932 Curtiss-Wright Travel Air B-14-B Speedwing, N12332, one of two biplanes of the kind produced by the early airplane manufacturer. The other airplane was destroyed in a crash in the mid-1930s.

N12332 was also damaged in a ground accident in the late 1990s, but it was completely restored to what the museum calls "factory new" condition. The restoration project took place between 2000 and 2007, and many components were replaced not only because of damage but also due to its age.

The Speedwing design was based on the A-14-D Sportsman, but it had a 300-horsepower Wright R-975 Whirlwind engine enclosed in an aerodynamically efficient cowling that allowed the airplane to fly up to 177 mph, beating most military airplanes of its era. The airplane was designed to fit two passenger seats in front of the single-seat pilot seat, but the front seats could be covered up to attain greater speeds. At 1,600 feet per minute, the airplane's climb performance is also noteworthy, and the airplane can attain a range of 575 nautical miles and fly as high as 18,700 feet.

The museum plans to use the proceeds from the sale to fund interactive exhibits for students.

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