Curtiss Hawk I

The Curtiss Hawk I was the designation retrospectively given to a number of early Hawk biplane fighters after the development of the Hawk II. The Hawk I name was certainly used for the export P-6s. It is also sometimes attached to a number of export P-1s, but it isn't entirely clear if Curtiss ever used this designation themselves.

The P-1 didn’t sell in large numbers. Chile was the first customer, buying eight P-1As in 1926. Japan also ordered a single P-1A in 1927. Chile also bought eight P-1Bs in 1927.

The P-6 also sold in small numbers. The Dutch were the main customers. In September 1930 they bought eight for use in the Dutch East Indies and they also built six under licence in the Netherlands (many English language sources say eight but Dutch documents confirm the lower figure).

1930 also saw the sale of four Pratt & Whitney Wasp powered Hawks, which were then known as the P-6S. Three went to Cuba and were also known as the Cuban Hawk. The fourth was sold to Japan, but may have been delivered with the Conqueror engine of the standard P-6.

The sixteen P-6s and four P-6Ss of 1930 were all given the Hawk I designation in 1932 after the development of the Hawk II.

Curtiss also sold a small number of civil Hawks. The Hawk 1 or Doolittle Hawk was used by Jimmy Doolittle and was then sold to Jesse Bristow, an air show pilot. The Gulfhawk was originally built by Curtiss in 1929 and used as a long-distance demonstrator. It was damaged in a crash, rebuilt with a Wright Cyclone engine and sold to Alford J William of Gulf Oil. He operated it from 1930 until 1936, modifying the aircraft on several occasions. It eventually ended up in the Marine Corps museum at Quantico.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (14 January 2013), Curtiss Hawk I , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_curtiss_hawk_I.html

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