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Curtiss Falcon

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
Curtiss A-3B Falcon USAF.JPG

A number of biplanes built by Curtiss were named "Falcon", most under the US Army Air Corps designation O-1. They first appeared in 1924. The Curtiss Falcon fight at the Constitutional Revolution of 1932, in Brazil, used by the forces of São Paulo.

The plane was a conventional unequal-span design with wooden wings, while the fuselage was built using aluminum tubing. The tail included a balanced rudder, and the landing gear was fixed, with a rear skid originally, later changed to a tail wheel.

It was reasonably successful as an observation plane, flown primarily by the 1st, 5th, and 99th Observation Squadrons of the 9th Observation Group, Mitchel Field, New York. The A-3 Attack Falcon variant saw considerable use, in front line service with the 8th, 13th, and 19th Attack Squadrons of the 3rd Attack Group, Barksdale Field, Louisiana, and the 26th Attack Squadron in Hawaii from 1928 to 1934 and with reserve units until 1937.


  • A-3 - O-1B converted for use as an attack aircraft, 66 built for the US Army. It was armed with two 7.62-mm (0.30-inch) machine guns and 91-kg (200-lb) of bombs.
  • A-3A - Six A-3s were converted into trainers.
  • A-3B - O-1E converted for attack use, 78 built
  • XA-4 - One A-3 with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-1 Wasp radial piston engine.
  • O-1 - Two-seat observation aircraft, the first production model. One aircraft was converted into the O-1 Special for VIP transport. 10 built
  • O-1A - Two-seat observation aircraft, powered by the Liberty piston engine. 1 built.
  • O-1B - This was the first major production version for the US Army. 45 built.
  • O-1C - Four O-1Bs converted into VIP transports.
  • O-1E - This version was powered by the 324-kW (435-hp) Curtiss V-1150E piston engine. 41 built.
  • O-1F - One O-1E converted into VIP transport.
  • O-1G - This was the final O-1 version. 30 built
  • XO-11 - Two aircraft were converted into X0-11 prototypes.
  • O-11 - This version was powered by the Liberty piston engine. 66 built.
  • XO-12 - One of the XO-11 prototypes was redesignated X0-12.
  • XO-13 - One O-1 was fitted with a Curtiss Conqueror engine, and took part in the 1927 National Air Race.
  • XO-13A - The XO-13A was another aircraft which was converted into a racing machine.
  • O-13B - One O-1C was fitted with a Conqueror engine, and tested as an observation aircraft.
  • YO-13C - Three O-1Es were re-engined with a Conqueror engine.
  • YO-13D - One O-11 was fitted with supercharged Conqueror engine.
  • XO-16 - One O-11 was fitted with a Conqueror engine.
  • XO-18 - One O-1B used to test the Chieftain engine.
  • Y1O-26 - One O-1E fitted with a Conqueror engine, and the Prestone cooling system.
  • O-39 - This was the O-1G airframe fitted with a Conqueror engine, 10 built.
  • Civil Falcon - 20 civil versions were built.
  • XF8C-1 - This version was developed from the US Army's X0-12 aircraft. Two were built for the US Navy.
  • F8C-1 - Four were built for the US Marine Corps, they were used as light bombers, fighters and observation aircraft. The F8C-1 powered by the 313-kW (420-hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp radial piston engine. It was later redesignated OC-1.
  • F8C-3 - 21 were built for the US Navy. It was powered by the P313-kW (420-hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp radiual piston engine. It was later redesignated OC-2.
  • XOC-3 - One XF8C-1 prototype was fitted with a Chieftain engine.
  • Export Falcon - Twin-float version of O-1B sold to Colombia, 16 built.
  • South American D-12 Falcon - 10 Model 35F were sold to Peru.
  • Colombia Cyclone Falcon - Model 37F fitted with the 531-kW (712-hp) Wright Cyclone radial piston engine. 100 were built and sold to Colombia.
  • Chilean Falcon - O-1E design built under license in Chile, ten were later sold to Brazil.
  • XBT-4 - One O-1E aircraft was converted into a basic trainer for the US Army.

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