The Curtiss F6C Hawk series of aircraft was in fact the US Navy/Marine model of the US Army's P-1 Hawk series. The US Navy found the P-1 attractive enough to begin fielding it as a carrier-based aircraft whilst the US Marines operated it as a land-based fighter.
With its origins in the Model L-18-1 (which stemmed the PW-8 US Army production fighters), the P-1 was a biplane single-engine, single-seat fighter with fixed landing gears. In the interwar years, the system would become one of the many symbols in the evolution of the aircraft during this time. Tapered-wings, wheel brakes and evermore powerful engines produced a wild amount of variants for the Curtiss company that would see the Hawk series as a frontline fighter in all the major armed services of the time.
Armed modestly with a World War One-style array of .303 caliber machine guns, the aircraft was indeed a throwback to earlier days of aerial combat. The metal body-covering was, however, a taste of things to come throughout the 1930's. With a flight ceiling of over 20,000 feet and speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour, the P-1 and F6C Hawk series was a step in the right direction for American military aviation design.
Production 75 Units
Curtiss - USA
- Navy / Maritime
22.83 ft (6.96 m)
31.59 ft (9.63 m)
2,161 lb (980 kg)
3,349 lb (1,519 kg)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Curtiss F6C-3 HAWK production model)
20,299 feet (6,187 m; 3.84 miles)
351 miles (565 km; 305 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Curtiss F6C-3 HAWK production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
2 x .30 caliber machine guns
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Curtiss F6C-3 HAWK production model)
PW-8 - Production models of the Model L-18-1 of which 25 were produced for the US Army.
XPW-8B - Experimental variant fitted with Curtiss D-12 440hp engine.
P-1 - Production Variant of the XPW-8B
P-1A - 25 produced
P-1B - 25 produced; fitted with Curtiss V-1150-3 435hp engine.
P-1C - 33 produced; fitted with Curtiss V-1150-5 engine; wheel brakes implemented; ski landing gear.
AT-4 - Advanced Trainer Variant based on the P-1A; fitted with Wright-Hispano E 180hp engine.
P-1D - Fitted with V-1150 engine based on the AT-4 trainer model.
AT-5 - Improved trainer variant based on the P-1D model fitted with 220hp Wright Whirlwind J-5 radial engine.
P-1E - Converted AT-5 models with V-1150 engine.
AT-5A - Longer fuselage trainers; would later become P-1F.
P-1F - Converted AT-5A trainer models fitted with V-1150 engine.
F6C - United States Navy carrier-based fighter model.
F6C-1 - United States Marine Corps land-based F6C model based on the US Army P-1 fighter.
F6C-2 - Carrier-based model fitted with arrestor hook and other specialized landing equipment.
F6C-3 - Modified F6C-2 fighters
F6C-4 - Fitted with Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp radial generating 420hp.
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
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