Military Wiki
XP-22 Hawk
Role Experimental biplane fighter
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
Primary user United States Army Air Forces
Number built 1
Variants Curtiss P-6 Hawk

The Curtiss XP-22 Hawk was an 1930s American experimental biplane fighter built by Curtiss for evaluation by the United States Army Air Service.

Design and development

In 1929, the AAC ordered three P-11 Hawks for testing of the 600 hp (447 kW) H-1640 Chieftain engine. This engine proved a failure, and before completion, one of the three was converted to use a 9-cylinder 575 hp (429 kW) Cyclone, being completed as the YP-20. Testing with the R-1820 was prolonged, so the Army acquired another of the three P-11s, instead. This became the XP-22.

A number of changes were made for installing the 700 hp (520 kW) Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror engine. The radiator was relocated, a new cowl was fitted, and the tail was given more fin and less rudder area,and featured a steerable tailwheel, rather than the original skid. For these changes, Curtiss charged only US$1.[1] During testing, the XP-22 underwent a number of alterations and improvements, including a change from a three-strut landing gear to a single streamlined strut, later fitted with wheel pants. Fillets were added where struts joined the wing and the tail was briefly reduced in area, to P-6 standard.[1] The XP-22 was also the Army's first fighter capable of 200 mph (320 km/h), achieving 202 mph (325 km/h).[2]

Operational history

In June 1931, the AAC held a competition to evaluate the P-6, P-12, YP-20, and XP-22. The XP-22 came out the winner, earning a contract for 45 aircraft as the Y1P-22. Following the trials, the XP-22 donated a nose and landing gear graft to the YP-20, which became the XP-6E, and the 45 production aircraft were completed to this standard.

Curtiss XP-22 060906-F-1234P-009.jpg


United States


Data from U.S.Fighters[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Length: 23 ft 7 in (7.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 6 in (9.6 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.7 m)
  • Wing area: 252 ft² (23.41 m²)
  • Empty weight: 2,597lb (1,178 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,354 lb (1,521 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × V-1570 Conqueror water-cooled 12-cylinder vee engine, 575 hp (429 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 202 mph (176 kn, 325 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 26,500 ft (8,077 m)



  1. 1.0 1.1 Fitzsimons 1978, p. 1255.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jones 1975, p. 58.


  • Donald, David, ed. Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada: Prospero Books, 1997. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  • Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. "Hawk, Curtiss Models 34 and 35 P-1 to P-6 and F6C". Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons and Warfare. Volume 12, pp. 1255–1256, London: Phoebus Publishing, 1978.
  • Jones, Lloyd S. U.S. Fighters: 1925-1980s. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, Inc., 1975. ISBN 0-8168-9200-8.

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