While the Vought VE-7s were serving the Navy well in the early 1920s, they were not originally designed as fighters. The Naval Aircraft Factory came up with a simple design driven by a 200hp Lawrance J-1 air-cooled radial engine. Its boxy fuselage was suspended between the parallel-sided upper and lower wings, with the center area of the lower wing swollen to accommodate a fuel tank.
The NAF gave the plans over to Curtiss to build, and the result, designated TS-1, arrived at Anacostia on 9 May 1922. Delivered with wheels, the NAF also designed wooden floats to enable use on vessels other than carriers. Testing went well, and in late 1922 the Navy ordered 34 planes from Curtiss, with the first arriving on board USS Langley (CV-1) in December. The NAF built another five themselves, as a test of relative costs, as well as four more used to experiment with water-cooled inline engines.
With the adoption of the United States Navy aircraft designation system of 1922, the aircraft were redesignated FC-1.
- Lloyd S. Jones, U.S. Naval Fighters (Fallbrook CA: Aero Publishers, 1977, ISBN 0-8168-9254-7), pp. 14-17