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O-17 Courier
A Maryland National Guard Consolidated O-17
Role Observation
Manufacturer Consolidated Aircraft Company
First flight April 1927
Primary users United States National Guard
Royal Canadian Air Force
Produced 1928
Number built 35
Variants Consolidated PT-3

The Consolidated Model 2 Courier was an observation and training airplane used by the United States National Guard, under the designation O-17.


A parallel development to the PT-3 series, the XO-17 was a converted PT-3 with such refinements as improved fuselage streamlining, oleo shock absorbers, wheel brakes, balanced elevators and increased fuel capacity.[1]

Used almost exclusively as a cross country flying, gunnery, photographic and radio trainer.[2] The O-17 had a removable fairing (carrying a Scarff ring mounting for one .30 cal (7.62 mm) trainable Browning machine gun.

The Royal Canadian Air Force purchased three generally similar aircraft, two Model 7 landplanes and one Model 8 floatplane, the latter with the same float gear as the NY series.

The sole XO-17A was converted from the PT-3 as a demonstrator that failed to secure any orders.[2] It was later fitted with the experimental Packard DR-980 Diesel engine of 225 hp (168 kW).[1]

The Model 15 was also an O-17 type airframe fitted with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine. It too failed to win any contracts.[2]


XO-17 (prototype)
Consolidated PT-3 Conversion with a 225 hp (168 kW) Wright R-790-1 engine, streamlined fuselage, modified undercarriage, increased fuel capacity, provision for dual controls and a dorsal 0.3 in (7.62 mm) gun, one conversion.[3]
O-17 Model 2 Courier
Production version for United States National Guard use, 29 built.[2]
XO-17A (prototype)
One Consolidated PT-3 converted with a Wright R-790-3 engine intended for export.[3]
Model 7 (RCAF landplane)
Royal Canadian Air Force, two built.[2]
Model 8 (RCAF floatplane)
Royal Canadian Air Force, one built.[2]
XPT-8 (demonstrator)
The airframe of the XO-17A prototype fitted with a Packard DR-980 Diesel engine of 225 hp (168 kw), scrapped in 1932.[1]
A single PT-3A (29-115) similarly converted with a Packard DR-980 Diesel engine with Project Number 'P-564',[4] but returned to PT-3A configuration.[5] The airframe was subsequently lost in a fatal mid-air with a P-12C of the 17th Pursuit Squadron 2 miles W of New Baltimore, Michigan on 17 December 1931.[6]
Model 15 (demonstrator)
Conversion with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine.[2]


 United States

Specifications (O-17)

Data from Eden & Moeng (2002)[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 27 ft 11 in (8.51 m)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 5.5 in (10.5 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
  • Wing area: 296 ft2 (27.5 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,881 lb (853 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 2,723 lb (1235 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-790-1 radial, 225 hp (168 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 118 mph (190 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 100 mph (161 km/h)
  • Range: 550 miles (885 km)
  • Service ceiling: 12,000' (3660 m)
  • Rate of climb: 865 ft/min (264 m/min)


  • 1 × .30 cal (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine gun
  • See also


    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Swanborough, F. G.; Bowers, Peter M. (1964). "United States Military Aircraft Since 1909". New York: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-816-X. 
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Eden, Paul; Moeng, Soph (2002). "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft". London: Amber Books. ISBN 978-0-7607-3432-2. 
    3. 3.0 3.1 Andrade, John M. (1979). "U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials Since 1909". Hinckley, UK: Midland Counties Publications. ISBN 0-904597-22-9. 
    5. Andrade, John M. U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Earl Shilton, Leicester: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9, page 198.

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