The Curtiss SO3C Seamew was intended to replace the obsolescent SOC Seagull. Service trials of the first production SO3C-1s during the spring of 1942 revealed that the type was too underpowered to operate from U.S. Navy cruisers, causing them to be replaced by the older SOC Seagull and OS2U Kingfisher. The first SO3C-1s entered operational service with USS Cleveland (CL-55) in July 1942.
Powerplant: 530hp Ranger V-770-8 12-cylinder air-cooled inline engine driving a two-bladed, variable-pitch metal propeller.
Total production: 795
- XSO3C-1 – (model 82, BuNo 1385) prototype, one built originally as a landplane and later modified as a floatplane.
- SO3C-1 – (model 82A, BuNo 4730-4879) deliveries began in July 1942
- SO3C-1K – SO3C-1 modified as target drones, some to the Royal Navy as the Queen Seamew I (serials JX663-JX669, JZ771 -JZ774)
- SO3C-2 – (Model 82B, BuNo 4880-5029, 04149-04198) Similar to SO3C-1 but with arrester gear, landplane variant could be fitted with a ventral bomb rack, 200 built.
- SO3C-2C (British Seamew Mk I FN450-FN649, JW550-JW599)- Lend-lease variant of the SO3C-2 with improved radio, 24V electrical system and fitted with arrester gear for deck landings
- SO3C-3 (Model 82C, BuNo 04199-04348) reduced weight variant with detailed improvements and catapult operation ability removed, produced between June 1943 and January 1944.
- SO3C-4 – Proposed variant of the SO3C-3 with arrester hook and catapult capable, not built.
- SO3C-4B – Lend-lease variant of the SO3C-4 for the Royal Navy as the Seamew II, not built.
- SOR-1 – Ryan variant of the SO3C, not built.
- Steve Ginter – The “Reluctant Dragon” The Curtiss SO3C Seagull/Seamew; Naval Fighters Number Forty-Seven
- R. Johnson: United States Naval Aviation, 1919-1941 – Aircraft, Airships and Ships Between the Wars
- Roy A. Grossnick, William J. Armstrong: United States Naval Aviation 1910-1995
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- John M. Elliott: The Official Monogram U.S. Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide Vol. 2 1940-1949
- Thomas E. Doll, Barkley R. Jackson: Navy Air Colors: United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aircraft Camouflage and Markings Vol. 1 1911-1945; Squadron/Signal Publications 6159