|Description (above picture taken 16 April 2002)|
|Manufacturer:||Curtiss Aircraft, Buffalo, NY|
|Designation:||P-6, (U.S. Navy F6C)|
|First Flew:||1929 (A model), 1932 (E model)|
|Specifications (below are for P-6E, not our actual aircraft)|
|Length:||23 ft 2 in|
|Height:||6 ft 10 in|
|Wing Span:||31 ft 6 in|
|Armament:||Two .30 cal machine guns|
|No. of Engines:||1|
|Powerplant:||Curtiss V-1570-23 Conquerer liquid-cooled in-line|
|Horsepower (each):||700 hp|
|Max Speed:||198 Mph||Km/H||Kt|
Curtiss-built biplanes that equipped fighter units of the Air corps and Navy during the 1920's and 30's were inspired by the air racing during the early 1930's. During 1925, Curtiss received an order for fifteen fighters to be designated P-1, the first aircraft in the Air Service's new standard designations. The Navy was also interested and purchased eleven of the machines under the designation of F4C.
The most famous of the Hawks was the P-6, first flown in 1929. The P-6E had a modified fuselage, single strut landing gear with stylish wheel fairings and a 700 hp engine with Prestone cooling. The Hawk series continued until World War II and the P-40 Warhawk.
A total of 46 production P-6E's were delivered to the three fighter squadrons, the 17th, 33rd and the 95th. The museum aircraft is painted in the markings of the 17th Pursuit Squadron based at Selfridge Field, Michigan. The Snow Owl engine cover markings were applied for participation in the 1932 Air Races. Note the talons on the wheel covers. The closed covers caused problems when operating off dirt and grass fields in wet weather and in the winter. Mud and snow would build up inside the covers. As a result, the outboard portion of the covers was removed, leaving the wheel uncovered.
The last eighteen P-6E's were retired from the service in 1939, mostly donated to flying schools as non-flying training aids.
The museum aircraft, AC 32-240, is an 82% model of the original aircraft. It was built and flown by Donald Sauser, a former USMC pilot. Following his death, the plane was presented to the museum by his wife and arrived by truck on April 6, 2002.. The aircraft is powered by a Chevy V-8 engine.