Curtiss Seagull

  • A U.S.-designed single-engine, two-seater flying boat for civilian use, made in 1919-20
  • Developed from the Curtiss MF, which was designed for the U.S. Navy during the First World War
  • Its fuselage was constructed entirely of mahogany plywood formed over a wooden frame
  • Three Seagulls were used in Canada for bush flying in the 1920s
  • Although made in small numbers, the MF and the Seagull were used in many countries
Interwar (1919-1938)
First Flight
early 1919
Display Status
On the Museum Floor.

Background History

The Curtiss Seagull appeared shortly after the end of First World War. Although it was probably the best small flying boat of the period, not many were sold. The Seagull had to compete with the low-priced, war-surplus Curtiss MF flying boats from which it had been developed. Though both somewhat small for the job, both the Seagull and the Curtis MF were flown in some Canadian bush operations.

With its wooden hull, pusher engine, and fabric-covered wings, the Seagull was typical of the flying boats of the period. The hull was constructed of mahogany plywood veneer over a wood frame and could accommodate three people.

Museum Example

Registration #
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, United States
Manufacture Date
Construction #
Acquisition Date
Exchange with the Science Museum, Great Britain
Museum Catalogue #

The Museum's Seagull was manufactured in 1920 by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. Between 1924 and 1925, it was used to conduct an aerial survey of [the Parima River headwaters in Brazil's Amazon region. It was donated to the Science Museum in London, U.K. and was damaged in a bombing raid in 1941. Initially on loan to the Museum, it became part of the collection in 1968 when it was exchanged for a Douglas Dakota nose section. The Seagull was restored by the Museum's conservation team between 1970 and 1974.

Technical Specifications


Wing Span 15.2 m (49 ft 9 in)
Length 8.8 m (28 ft 10 3/16 in)
Height 3.6 m (11 ft 9 7/32 in)
Weight, Empty 888 kg (1,957 lb)
Weight, Gross 1,237 kg (2,726 lb)
Cruising Speed: 97 km/h (60 mph)
Max Speed 122 km/h (76 mph)
Rate of Climb 914 m (3,000 ft) / 10 min
Service Ceiling 1,800 m (5,900 ft)
Range 464 km (288 mi)
Power Plant one Curtiss C-6A, 160 hp, in-line engine