Curtiss-Wright CW-21 & CW-22

The Curtiss-Wright Model 21 / Curtiss-Wright Model 21 Demonstrator / Curtiss-Wright CW-21 Interceptor / Curtiss-Wright CW-21 Demon, was an American fighter-interceptor developed by the St. Louis Airplane Division of Curtiss-Wright Corporation during the 1930s.

In 1940, the CW-21 was developed as a variant of the CW-22, which was a two-seater free-carrying all-metal low-plane, designed for advanced pilot training and a number of other tasks, including a light bomber or reconnaissance aircraft.

Both crew members were stationed in tandem, the second crew member, the observer-shooter, used a movable 7.62 mm machine gun to protect the rear hemisphere.

The landing gear of the aircraft was made on the type of CW-21, also preserved one of the course machine guns – at the bottom of the hood.

A total of 36 such aircraft were sold to the Dutch East Indies.

Dutch vehicles in January – February 1942 took part in the battles on the island of Java and were all destroyed by the Japanese on the ground and in the air.

Some of the equipment, which did not have time to arrive in the East Indies, was requisitioned by the U.S. Air Force and used by the Americans at bases in Australia since April 1942 as training, liaison and close scouts.

The CW-22B was shipped to Turkey, the Dutch East Indies and several Latin American countries.

Several Dutch-owned aircraft were hijacked and used by the Japanese military.

Both modifications, the CW-22 and cw-22B, were armed with two machine guns – fixed-rate and mobile at the observer-arrow.

After testing the proposed demonstrator, the U.S. Navy ordered a shipment of 455 advanced training aircraft for pilots who were initially designated CW-22N and renamed the SNC-1 Falcon.

The planes of the third production series had a modified, more raised cockpit lantern.

Part of SNC-1 was sold to American private owners after the end of the war.

The SNC-1 was decommissioned in the United States in 1946.


Model 21 Interceptor.

One prototype built in 1938 (c/n 21-1 / NX19431).

Three production units and a total of 27 sets of components shipped to the Republic of China to be assembled by CAMCO.

Easily identifiable by the Seversky P-35 type of main undercarriage fairings.

Model 21A Interceptor.

Proposed design to use the Allison V-1710.

Model 21B Interceptor.  

A total of 24 built for the Netherlands East Indies, easily identifiable by the inward retracting main landing gear, this eliminated the need for the undercarriage fairings notable on the Model 21.




Production armed variant for the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force.


Improved armed variant.

SNC-1 Falcon


United States Navy designation for the CW-22N.





27 ft 0 in (8.23 m)


35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)


9 ft 11 in (3.02 m)

Wing area

173.7 sq ft (16.14 m2)


Curtiss CW-19 Special

Empty weight

2,736 lb (1,241 kg)

Gross weight

3,788 lb (1,718 kg)


1 × Wright R-975-28 Whirlwind 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,

450 hp (340 kW) for take-off ; 420 hp (310 kW) max continuous


2-bladed variable-pitch metal propeller


Maximum speed

198 mph (319 km/h, 172 kn) at sea level


780 mi (1,260 km, 680 nmi)

Service ceiling

21,800 ft (6,600 m)

Rate of climb

1,650 ft/min (8.4 m/s)



1x fixed forward-firing synchronised 0.300 in (7.6 mm) machine-gun


1x flexibly mounted 0.300 in (7.6 mm) machine-gun in the rear cockpit.


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