Author Topic: Curtiss Super Hawk  (Read 474 times)

Offline apophenia

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Curtiss Super Hawk
« on: July 25, 2020, 11:55:08 AM »
This began with a notion of updating Heinkel He-51 based Curtiss monoplane fighter from Brian's Pastafarian story. Thing is, Brian's builds are hard to trump (and his backstories impossible to match).

So, instead, I decided to just do something that I thought Brian would have enjoyed. So, here is the story of the Curtiss 75C Super Hawk - complete with weird engine type and, of course, spats  ;)


The Curtiss Model 75C Super Hawk

With its underdeveloped Wright XR-1670-5 engine, the Curtiss Model 75 Hawk performed poorly in the May 1935 USAAC pursuit competition. By contrast, the rival Seversky SEV-2XP was powered by a reliable Wright R-1820 radial. And, perhaps more importantly, the Seversky submission had a practical set of fixed main undercarriage legs clad in finely-streamlined (and rather intimidating) spats. To no-one's surprise, the Seversky pursuit won the Army Air Corps' competition. [1]

The pursuit contract loss was the final straw for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. After a less-than-amicable breakup, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company was re-established at Buffalo, NY. As chief designer, Don Berlin surveyed the wreckage. The reborn firm's key asset was a now-engineless Model 75 airframe. In the absence of Army Air Corps pursuit contracts, job one was to get Curtiss back into the export fighter game. For that, a major re-design would be needed. The first step was finding a new powerplant. The second was eliminating that fancy retractable undercarriage set-up that Curtiss-Wright management had insisted upon. Too complex, too heavy, and a Boeing patent to boot!

The powerplant issue was quickly resolved. The export Model 75 would receive a modernized version of the Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror - a slim, liquid-cooled V-12 engine. The aircraft would also be fitted with a spatted undercarriage - as it always should have been (and no royalties paid to Boeing!). With these changes, the design became the Model 75C Super Hawk. Since the Model 75 had been rejected by officialdom and the V-1570 was of no further interest to the USAAC, Curtiss would have a free rein in marketing its new fighter abroad.

Top The original Model 75C concept with its turbosupercharged V-1570 Conqueror engine. (Notice the fully-retractable main spats and partially-retractable tail spat.)

It soon became apparent that developing an inhouse 'blower' for the V-1570 Conqueror would be a time-consuming project. Instead, it was decided to follow a tried and true American performance approach - add more cubic inches. The updated engine would have its cylinders bored out to give a greater displacement. The result was the V-1621 Super Conqueror. [2]

Bottom As built, the Curtiss Model 75C Super Hawk V-1621 Super Conqueror engine exposed.

The first production-model Super Hawk was the four-gunned Model 75E but that, as they say, is another story ...


[1] The SEV-2XP would enter USAAC service as the P-35, the first in that series of famous Seversky fighter aircraft which would dominate the skies throughout World War Two. For Curtiss-Wright there was only ignominy.

[2] The original V-1570 Conqueror had a 6.125 inch stroke and a 5.125 inch bore. The Super Conqueror each cylinder was bored out to 5.30 inches for a total displacement of 1,621 cubic inches.
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Offline jcf

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Re: Curtiss Super Hawk
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 03:11:06 PM »
 :smiley: :smiley:

Excellent, although I am surprised they didn’t go with the SGV-1800, the other

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actually is than they ever are about
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Re: Curtiss Super Hawk
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2020, 02:05:48 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Curtiss Super Hawk
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2020, 06:23:59 AM »
Excellent, although I am surprised they didn’t go with the SGV-1800, the other Super-Conqueror.

Jon: Yes, the SGV-1800 would have suited the Super Hawk to a tee. But somehow, in those 1935 'divorce proceedings', the SGV-1800 became the exclusive property of the revived Wright Aeronautical Corporation  :P

This 'grab' seems to have been done out of pure spite - Wright Aeronautical had no intention of further developing the SGV-1800. Perhaps Wright simple wished to deny Curtiss the opportunity of competing with a 'V-1822'?
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