Seversky SEV S-3

The record breaking SEV-3 amphibian as it appeared at Wright Field in the summer of 1934.

The first design was manufactured under contract by Edo Aircraft Corporation of College Point, Long Island, NY. Designed as a low wing monoplane design, this first aircraft, designated the SEV-3, was a floatplane. Edo, being the leading manufacturer of aircraft floats, was an ideal choice when one considers that Seversky had no manufacturing facilities. Even with Edo’s expertise, construction still took two years, largely due to the lack of capital funds.

Finally, in June of 1933, the SEV-3 took off from Long Island waters with Seversky at its controls. Painted in a stunning bronze, the SEV-3 was one of the more advanced aircraft in the world. Several months later and fitted with a more powerful engine, the SEV-3 set a new world speed record for amphibians. One major contributor to the plane’s excellent speed was its distinctive thin, but broad semi-elliptical wing. This basic wing design would still be seen on the P-47 a decade later.

Major Alexander de Seversky at the controls of the prototype BT-8 (developed from the SEV-3XAR).