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Seversky SEV-3

Role Three-seat amphibian
National origin United States
Manufacturer Seversky Aircraft
Designer Alexander Kartveli
First flight 1933

The Seversky SEV-3 was an American three-seat amphibian monoplane, the first aircraft designed and built by the Seversky Aircraft Corporation.


  • Design and development 1
  • Operational history 2
  • Operators 3
  • Variants 4
  • Specifications (BT-8) 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7

Design and development

The SEV-3 was an all-metal cantilever low-wing monoplane powered by a nose-mounted 420 hp (313 kW) Wright J-6 Whirlwind radial engine. It had two cockpits in tandem, a forward cockpit for the pilot and a rear cockpit for two passengers, both with sliding canopies. It could either be fitted with twin amphibious floats which had main wheels fitted in the floats to allow it to operate from land, or with a fixed tailwheel undercarriage with the mainwheels enclosed in large fairings.[1]

The SEV-3 first flew as a floatplane in June 1933, demonstrating excellent performance as both an amphibian and a landplane.[2] It was built in small numbers mainly for export.

Alexander de Seversky standing before the SEV-3XAR, autumn 1934

Operational history

An SEV-3 established a world speed record for piston-engined amphibians in 1933, and on 15 September 1935, a Wright Cyclone-powered SEV-3 set a record of 230 mph (370.8 km/h) which stood for 49 years. A landplane version was also developed with conventional landing gear.[3]

The design influenced a long line of Seversky and later Republic aircraft, eventually leading to the development of the P-47 Thunderbolt. A landplane version was used by the United States Army Air Corps as a basic trainer with the designation BT-8.




Amphibian for the Colombian Air Force, six built.
Landplane basic-trainer for the United States Army Air Corps, 30 built.

Specifications (BT-8)


Data from United States Military Aircraft since 1909[4]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 24 ft 4 in (7.42 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.98 m)
  • Wing area: 220 ft2 (20.4 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,017 lb (1,317 kg)
  • Gross weight: 4,050 lb (1,841 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-11 Waspo Junior, 450 hp (336 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 175[5] mph (282 km/h)

See also

Related development
Related lists


  1. ^ Green and Swanborough Air Enthusiast Ten, pp. 9–10.
  2. ^ Green and Swanborough Air Enthusiast Ten, p. 9.
  3. ^ , December 1935Popular Mechanics"Amphibian Flies Nearly Four Miles a Minute"
  4. ^ Swanborough and Bowers 1963, p. 527.
  5. ^ at sea level
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. "The end of the beginning...The Seversky P-35". Air Enthusiast, Ten, July–September 1979, pp. 8–21.
  • Howson, Gerald. "A Seversky in the Spanish War". Air Enthusiast, Eighteen, April–July 1982, pp. 32–36.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985) London: Orbis Publishing, 1985.
  • Swanborough, F.G. and Peter M. Bowers. United States Military Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, 1963.
  • Taylor, Michael J.H. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions, 1989. ISBN 0-517-69186-8.
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