Military Wiki
Role Observation floatplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Vought
First flight 8 May 1934
Number built 1

The Vought O5U was a 1930s prototype American observation floatplane to meet a United States Navy requirement for a catapult launched scouting aircraft. The contract was won by Curtiss who went on to produce the SOC Seagull; only one O5U was built.[1]


The United States Navy contracted three companies to produce prototypes to meet a requirement for a catapult launched biplane, with a central float and folding wings. Douglas produced the XO2D-1, Curtiss the XO3C-1 and Vought the XO5U-1.

The XO5U-1 (serial number 9399) was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney R-1340-12 piston engine[2] and first flew on the 8 May 1934.[1]

The contract was awarded to Curtiss and only one XO5U-1 was built. The Status of Naval Aircraft, dated June 1937, listed the XO5U-1 as assigned at Mustin Field at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[3] It crashed in May 1938.

Specifications (XO5U-1)

Data from [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 32 ft 6 in (9.91 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft (11 m)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340 9-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engine, 500 hp (370 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 155 mph (249 km/h; 135 kn)
  • Service ceiling: 15,100 ft (4,602 m)

See also

  • Curtiss O3C
  • Douglas O2D
  • List of seaplanes and amphibious aircraft


  1. 1.0 1.1 Michael O'Leary (November 2002). "Heroic Seagull". 
  2. Andrade 1979, p. 205
  3. Larkins, William T., "U.S. Navy Aircraft 1921-1941 / U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft 1914-1959", Orion Books, a division of Crown Books, New York, 1988, Library of Congress card number 88-17753, ISBN 0-517-56920-5, page 202.
  4. Eckland, K.O.. "Vought". USA: Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  • Andrade, John (1979). U.S.Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Midland Counties Publications. ISBN 0-904597-22-9. 

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