The Model F-5-L flying boat resulted from the
evolutionary growth and design interplay between the Curtiss Co. and
the British Royal Naval Air Service. The F-5-L traces its origins
back to the original Curtiss `America' Flying Boat being designed
for the planned transatlantic crossing of 1914. Lt. Cyril Porte,
formerly of the RNAS, was involved in the design of the planed
machine. When the war broke out Porte returned to England and
rejoined the RNAS. In his new capacity he helped to develop
improvements in the Curtiss Flying Boats which made them more
suitable for military operations over the North Sea. These changes
resulted in the H-12 and H-16 aircraft supplied by Curtiss and
eventually the F series of flying boats, which were built in
England. The principle design changes related to improvements in the
configuration of the hull. For the initial F series of Flying Boats
the wings, empennage, and power plant were essentially of Curtiss
For the F.5 model the power plant was changed to
the 345 hp Rolls-Royce engine. However, when the machine was built
at the U.S. Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia it was redesigned
to use the Liberty engine; hence the designation of F-5-L.
The F-5-L was flown by U.S. Navy pilots both at
naval air stations in England as well as in France.
Some aircraft were used passenger carrying.