Curtiss' Model 43 was their first design designed expressly for the Navy, rather than a modified Army type. While clearly a descendant of the P-1 Hawk, its wings were parallel-sided rather than tapered, and the upper wing had a slight sweepback. The engine was a 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340B Wasp radial. Entirely fabric-covered, the top wing was framed with spruce, while the fuselage was built from a combination of aluminum and steel tubing, sufficiently strong to serve as a dive bomber as well as a fighter.
The prototype XF7C-1 first flew in February 28, 1927. After some modification demanded by the Navy (such as the wing sweepback), 16 were ordered in 1928, and went into service in VF-5M at Quantico. They continued in service until [.
- Lloyd S. Jones, U.S. Naval Fighters (Fallbrook CA: Aero Publishers, 1977, ISBN 0-8168-9254-7), pp. 50-52