Model Airplane News
May, 1937

Model Airplane News Cover for May, 1937 by Jo Kotula Curtiss P-35 (Model 75) Hawk

Curtiss P-35 (Model 75) "Hawk"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for May, 1937
by Jo Kotula
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The Curtiss P-36 Hawk, also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, was a U.S.-built fighter aircraft of the 1930s. A contemporary of the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it was one of the first of a new generation of combat aircraft—a sleek monoplane design making extensive use of metal in its construction and powered by a powerful piston engine. Obsolete at the onset of World War II and best known as the predecessor of the Curtiss P-40, the P-36 saw only limited combat with the United States Army Air Forces but was extensively used by the French Air Force and also by British Commonwealth (where it was known as the Mohawk), and Chinese air units. Several dozen also fought in the Finnish Air Force against the Soviet Red Air Force. With around 1,000 aircraft built, the P-36 was a major commercial success for Curtiss.

 The 1935 USAAC Flyoff results Republic Seversky P-35 Curtiss Model 75 Northrop 3A     The Curtiss P-35 (Model 75) Hawk    The Curtiss P-35 (Model 75) Hawk Boeing retractable landing gear patent 1,919,524     The Curtiss P-35 (Model 75) Hawk

Curtiss P-35 (Model 75) "Hawk"
Left: The 1935 USAAC Flyoff results: (1) Republic Seversky P-35 (2) Curtiss Model 75 (3) Northrop 3A
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The Curtiss Model 75 was a private venture by the company, designed by former Northrop engineer Donovan Berlin. The first prototype constructed in 1934 featured all-metal construction with fabric-covered control surfaces, a Wright XR-1670-5 radial engine developing 900 hp, and typical U.S. Army Air Corps armament of one 30 Caliber and one 50 Caliber machine gun firing through the propeller arc. The airplane set several speed records:

 The Curtiss P-35 (Model 75) Hawk

Speed Record
From Popular Mechanics April, 1939
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Also typical of the time was the total absence of armor or self-sealing fuel tanks. The distinctive landing gear which rotated 90° to fold the main wheels flat into the thin trailing portion of the wing was actually a Boeing-patented design for which Curtiss had to pay royalties.

Here is a video of the Curtiss P-35 (Model 75) "Hawk" in action:

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