Curtiss-Wright 15-D Sedan, NC448W

  • Capacity: Four
  • Length: 30 feet 5 inches
  • Maximum speed: 135 mph
  • Cruise speed: 115 mph
  • Range: 460 miles (60-gallon tank)
  • Service ceiling: 16,000 feet

The Curtiss Wright model 15-D Sedan represented the top of the company’s 15-series aircraft, thanks to increased power and performance.

Fitted with the new seven-cylinder Wright R-760-E 240-horsepower engine, the model 15-D inherited many of its better characteristics from the earlier “Travel Air” 10-D. The type certificate number for the Sedan model 15-D was issued in 1931, and Curtiss-Wright built seven examples of the model before discontinuing it the following year. 

Civil Air Patrol flew three model 15-D Sedans during its early years, with NC448W operating out of the Idaho Wing.

Maj. Ron Finger is a freelance illustrator and member of the Minnesota Wing’s Crow Wing Composite Squadron. The longtime military and aviation history buff’s earliest aviation painting assignments appeared as covers for in-flight magazines.

Later, Minneapolis defense contractors like 3M, Control Data, Honeywell and Unisys kept Finger busy with painting assignments for aircraft, submarines, ships, and tanks. In 2012 he joined the Air Force Art Program, where a select pool of artists are assigned “art missions” to document specific U.S. Air Force Operations.

Painting “to honor those who serve” is the motto on the art program patch and defines Finger’s continuing efforts as an aviation artist. His new staff position as CAP’s national artist feeds his passions for researching and creating art that portrays historical emergency service. A pet goal is to complete paintings documenting every aircraft type Civil Air Patrol has flown. 

This is the second painting in Finger’s second series of depictions of vintage CAP aiircraft.

More of Finger’s CAP art work can be seen at

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