Curtiss PW-8


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Curtiss PW-8

Progenitor of the famous Hawk series of fighters, the PW-8 (the "PW" prefix indicating "Pursuit Water-cooled") was a single-seat two-bay fighter biplane of mixed construction - plywood-covered wooden wings and fabric-skinned welded steel tube fuselage - powered by a 440hp Curtiss D-12 water-cooled 12- cylinder Vee engine. Three prototypes were ordered on 27 April 1923, and the first of these, flown in the previous January, was retroactively designated XPW-8 on 14 May 1924. The second prototype, flown in March 1924, embodied some aerodynamic refinement and provided the basis for the production PW-8, 25 examples being ordered on 25 September 1923 and delivered between June and August 1924. The PW-8 featured wing surface radiators and armament normally comprised two 7.62mm machine guns. A turbo-supercharger was experimentally fitted to the second production aircraft, and the third prototype (XPW-8A), delivered in February 1924, featured 9.14m span single-bay wings and a revised radiator arrangement. It was subsequently fitted with a tunnel-type radiator (as the XPW-8A) and, in December 1924, with 9.60m span wings of tapered planform and Clark Y aerofoil section as the XPW-8B. It thus became, in effect, the prototype P-1 Hawk.

Curtiss PW-8A three-view drawing (1280 x 914)

  Take-off weight1429 kg3150 lb
  Empty weight994 kg2191 lb
  Wingspan9.75 m32 ft 0 in
  Length6.86 m23 ft 6 in
  Height2.69 m9 ft 10 in
  Wing area26.66 m2286.97 sq ft
  Max. speed270 km/h168 mph
  Range708 km440 miles

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