Curtiss P-6 Hawk

The Curtiss P-6 Hawk was an American single-engine biplane fighter introduced into service in the late 1920s with the United States Army Air Corps and operated until the late 1930s prior to the outbreak of World War II.

Curtiss P-6 Hawk
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1927
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Bolivia View
China View
Cuba View
Japan View
United States of America 1927 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company 70 View

The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company (which became the Curtis-Wright Corporation (15 July 1929) supplied the USAAC with P-6s beginning in 1929.

A fast and highly maneuverable aircraft for its time, the XP-6 prototype took 2nd place in the 1927 U.S. National Air Races, and the XP-6A with wing surface radiators took first place, at 201 mph (323 km/h). The P-6 was flown in a variety of paint schemes depending on the squadron, the most famous being the "Snow Owl" markings of the 17th Pursuit Squadron based at Selfridge Field near Detroit, Michigan.

The P-6Es served between 1932 and 1937 with the 1st Pursuit Group (17th and 94th PS) at Selfridge, and with the 8th Pursuit Group (33rd PS) at Langley Field, Virginia. Numerous accidents claimed at least 27 of the 46 aircraft delivered. As the P-6Es became obsolete, instead of receiving depot overhauls, they were allowed to wear out in service and were scrapped or sold. At least one survived into 1942 in United States Army Air Forces service.

In 1932, Capt. Ruben C. Moffat flew a P-6 converted with a supercharged Conqueror engine on a record-breaking flight. He flew from Dayton, Ohio to Washington, D.C. at a speed of approximately 266 mph, at an altitude of 25,000 ft.

Role Fighter
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
Introduction 1927
Primary user United States Army Air Corps
Produced 1929
Number built 70 including modified P-1s
Unit cost $13,000 USD

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 25 ft 2 in (7.67 m)
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 6 in (9.6 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
  • Wing area: 252 ft² (23.41 m²)
  • Empty weight: 2,669 lb (1,224 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,436 lb (1,559 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss V-1570C Conqueror liquid-cooled V12 engine, 700 hp (522 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 204 mph (177 kn, 328 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 167 mph (145 kn, 269 km/h)
  • Range: 285 mi (248 nmi, 459 km)
  • Service ceiling: 24,700 ft (7,529 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,480 ft/min (12.6 m/s)


  • 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns

End notes