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Curtiss F6C HAWK - United States, 1924

Detailing the development and operational history of the Curtiss F6C HAWK Naval Carrierborne Fighter Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 1/22/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Curtiss F6C HAWK  
Picture of Curtiss F6C HAWK

The F6C Hawk was the US Navy and Marine model of the Armys Curtiss P-1 Hawk.

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.

Curtiss F6C-3 HAWK Specifications

Service Year: 1924
Type: Naval Carrierborne Fighter Aircraft
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): Curtiss - USA
Total Production: 75

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 1
Overall Width: 31.59 feet (9.63 meters)
Weight (Empty): 2,161 lb (980 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 3,349 lb (1,519 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 1 x Curtiss D.12 "Conquerer" water-cooled inline engine developing 400 horsepower.

Maximum Speed: 134 knots (154 mph; 248 kph)
Maximum Range: 305 nautical miles (351 miles; 565 km)
Service Ceiling: 20,299 feet (6,187 meters; 3.84 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload

2 x .30 caliber machine guns

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

United States

Model Variants

Model L-18-1
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.

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