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Curtiss-Wright CW-19 & CW-23

The Curtiss-Wright CW-19 was a civil utility aircraft designed in the United States in the mid-1930s and built in small quantities in a number of variants including the CW-23 military trainer prototype.

Originally conceived as the Curtiss-Robertson CR-2 Coupe shortly before the Curtiss-Wright merger and the dropping of the Curtiss-Robertson brand, it was an all-metal, low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional configuration with fixed tailwheel undercarriage and side-by-side seating for two.

A prominent feature on all versions other than the original CR-2 prototypes was the large “trouser”-style wheel spats.

While the design was never perfected for the civil market it was originally intended for, a militarized version was soon developed that replaced the side-by-side cabin with tandem seating and added provision for guns and bombs.

Twenty-six CW-19s of all types were produced.

The first was a single CW-19L built in 1935, known as either “Coupe” or “Sparrow” in documents.

It would be purchased by the US Government and assigned the registration number NS-69.

The second aircraft built was a CW-19W, which featured a much more powerful 145 hp Warner Super Scarab in place of the Lambert engine.

It was decided that this aircraft was not well-suited for private civil aviation and was also discontinued after one prototype.

The military-grade CW-19R saw a significant revision to the cockpit and canopy, removing the old “Coupe” design and replacing it with a tandem-seat sliding glass canopy.

Powerplant options varied between the Wright R-760E2 and Wright R-975E3.

A variety of armament options were also available, including a synchronized fuselage-mounted machine gun firing through the propeller arc, two-gun pods mounted outboard of the landing gear, a flexible mount for the second aviator to use as a defensive turret, bombs, and an auxiliary fuel tank.

Twenty-two examples would be produced and would be the only version to be sold, with the majority going to South and Central American countries.

The CW-A19R was an unarmed version of the CW-19R intended for the USAAC but without any success.

It would also be offered on the civil market as the ATC A-629.

A total of two CW-A19R would be completed—one company demonstrator for Curtiss-Wright and one sold to a private owner.

A third was not completed and rebuilt as a CW-22.

A CW-B19R was planned and advertised, based upon the CW-A19R but with a four or five-seat civilian cabin, but it was not built.

Curtiss-Wright hoped that in its militarized form the CW-19 could be sold on the export market as a ground-attack machine.

But orders were disappointing, with two sold to the Dominican Republic, ten to Bolivia, six to Ecuador, and three to Cuba.

Additionally, one example was delivered to China where it was likely purchased.

An unarmed trainer version was also developed and offered to the USAAC but no orders were placed.

In a final attempt to find a market for the design, engine power was increased from 450 hp (340 kW) to 600 hp (450 kW), and a retractable undercarriage was fitted.

In this form, designated CW-23, the aircraft was offered once again to the USAAC, this time as an advanced trainer, but once again the service was not interested.

The CW-19 did, however, form the basis of the far more successful CW-21 and CW-22 designs.



Curtiss-Robertson prototype with strut-braced wing and unfaired undercarriage, two built.

Model 19L

Prototype with cantilever wing, spatted undercarriage and Lambert R-266 engine (one built)

Model 19W

Prototype with Warner Super Scarab engine (one built)

Model 19Q

Lycoming R-680-B2 Seaplane design (none built)

Model 19R Fighter

Militarized version with tandem seating, weapons mountings, and Wright J-6-7 engine (23 built)

Model 19R Long Range Trainer

Extra centre mounted 35-gallon aux tank pod.

One fixed forward gun, one rear manned gun.

Model 19R Light Bomber

Two .30 cal guns with two A-3 bomb racks. (563 lb)

Model 19R Photo Reconnaissance

Two bottom mounted camera ports.

Model 19R Attack (special)

Single seat with wing mounted guns (none built)

Model 19R Advanced Trainer

Pratt & Whitney R-760-E2 or R-975-E3 engine choices.

Model A19R

Military trainer offered to USAAC (three built, one later converted to CW-22)

Model B19R

Projected civil version of Model A19R (none built)

Model C19R

Amphibian standard trainer R-975-E3 (none built)

Model C19R

Amphibian advanced trainer (none built)

Model C19R

Amphibian fighter

One forward gun, one manned gun (none built)

Model C19R

Amphibian photographic aircraft, Fairchild KB-3 camera mount

Model C19Z

Standard Amphibian or Seaplane trainer

Pratt & Whitney Wasp SC-G


Advanced military trainer with Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine and retractable undercarriage, one built.






26 ft 4 in (8.03 m)


35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)


7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)

Wing area

174 sq ft (16.2 m2)


Curtiss CW-19 Special

Empty weight

1,400 lb (635 kg)

Gross weight

3,500 lb (1,588 kg)


1 × Wright R-760E2 Whirlwind 7-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,

350 hp (260 kW)


2-bladed fixed-pitch metal propeller


Maximum speed

185 mph (298 km/h, 161 kn)

Cruise speed

164 mph (264 km/h, 143 kn)

Rate of climb

1,890 ft/min (9.6 m/s)-



1 to 3 × fixed, forward-firing 0.300 in (7.62 mm) machine-gun


 1 × trainable, rearward-firing 0.300 in (7.62 mm) machine-gun


Provision for under wing bombload.

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