The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk is a light 1930s biplane fighter aircraft
that was carried by the United States Navy airships USS Akron and Macon

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk "1931"

RoleParasite fighter
ManufacturerCurtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
First flight12 February 1931
Introduction1931
Retired1937
StatusRetired
Primary userUnited States Navy
Number builtat least 7

 

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Curtiss F9C
Sparrowhawk-"1931"

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Curtiss F9C
Sparrowhawk-"1931"

The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk is a light 1930s biplane fighter aircraft that was carried by the United States Navy airships USS Akron and Macon. It is an example of a parasite fighter, a small airplane designed to be deployed from a larger aircraft such as an airship or bomber. On 20 August 1929, off the coast of New Jersey, a biplane hooked itself to the bottom of a dirigible and was carried along by the larger craft. This was the second such incident. The “snapon, snapoff” experiment was accomplished by the Navy airship USS Los Angeles, under Lt. Com. Herbert Wiley, and a Navy biplane. The biplane, regulating its speed to that of the dirigible, flew close under the Los Angeles. A large hook had been attached to the middle of the top wing of the biplane, and from the bottom of the Los Angeles hung a U-shaped yoke

Design

 

Although designed as a pursuit plane or fighter, the Sparrowhawk’s primary duty in service was reconnaissance, enabling the airships it served to search a much wider area of ocean. The Sparrowhawk was primarily chosen for service aboard the large rigid-framed airships Akron and Macon because of its small size (20.2 ft (6.2 m) long and with only a 25.5 ft (7.8 m) wingspan), though its weight, handling and range characteristics, and also downward visibility from the cockpit, were not ideal for its reconnaissance role.[3] The theoretical maximum capacity of the airships’ hangar was five aircraft, one in each hangar bay and one stored on the trapeze but, in the Akron, two structural girders obstructed the aft two hangar bays, limiting her to a maximum complement of three Sparrowhawks.[

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Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk-"1931"

Variants

 
The XF9C-2
XF9C-1
First prototype. One built. BuAer number 8731. Scrapped in 1936.
XF9C-2
Second prototype. One built. BuAer number 9264.
F9C-2 Sparrowhawk
Single-seat fighter biplane. 6 built. BuAer numbers 9056 – 9061

Specifications

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 20 ft 2.0 in (6.147 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft 6.0 in (7.772 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 6 in (3.2 m)
  • Empty weight: 2,089 lb (948 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,776 lb (1,259 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-975-E3 9-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engine, 438 hp (327 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 176.5 mph (284.0 km/h, 153.4 kn)
  • Range: 297 mi (478 km, 258 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 19,200 ft (5,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,700 ft/min (8.6 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 16 lb/sq ft (78 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.086 hp/lb (0.259 kW/kg)

Armament

Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk is a light 1930s biplane fighter aircraft that was carried by the United States Navy airships USS Akron and Macon. It is an example of a parasite fighter, a small airplane designed to be deployed from a larger aircraft such as an airship or bomber. Contents