Model Airplane News
January, 1937

Model Airplane News Cover for January, 1937 by Jo Kotula Curtiss XA-18 Shrike

Curtiss XA-18 "Shrike"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for January, 1937
by Jo Kotula
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The Curtiss A-18 Model 76A Shrike II was a 1930s United States twin-engine light attack aircraft.

 The Curtiss XA-18 Shrike    The Curtiss XA-18 Shrike on a trading card     The Curtiss XA-18 Shrike

Curtiss XA-18 "Shrike"
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In the years leading up to World War II, the United States Army Air Corps were interested in attack aircraft capable of carrying substantial bomb loads and deadly firepower. The attack aircraft paradigm was a two engine light bomber with heavy (50 caliber) machine guns The Curtiss YA-14 prototype that emerged in 1935 was one of the first of these. Although it looked fearsome with its slender fuselage, thin nose and sleek streamlining, the A-14 was hampered by a lack of power, despite its two 735 hp radial engines. Nevertheless, the prototype was able to achieve a maximum speed of 254 mph, outstripping the frontline Boeing P-26 fighter aircraft by 20 mph. New 775 hp engines were installed and the plane was delivered to the Army.

A further improved variant, the Y1A-18 had 850 hp radial engines with three-bladed propellers replacing the original two-bladed props. Thirteen aircraft were produced, and although successful in testing, further production was not ordered due to a lack of funds. By the time that the A-18 was approved, more advanced aircraft (such as the A-20 Havoc

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