Close this search box.

Curtiss XF15C-1

The Curtiss XF15C-1 is a mixed-propulsion fighter prototype of the 1940s.

It was among a number of similar designs ordered by the US Navy before pure-jet aircraft had demonstrated their ability to operate from carriers and the mixed-propulsion designs were abandoned.

Only three prototypes were constructed, the first one having crashed in testing while the second was scrapped and the last survives to this day.

By the late 1940s, the United States Navy was interested in the mixed-power concept for its shipborne fighters.

Jet engines of that era had very slow throttle response, which presented a safety concern in the case of a missed approach on an aircraft carrier as the aircraft might not be able to throttle up quickly enough to keep flying after leaving the end of the deck.

This led to orders for a number of mixed-propulsion fighters, including the FR Fireball.

As such, an order was placed with Curtiss on 7 April 1944 for delivery of three mixed-power aircraft, designated the F15C.

Powered by both a 2,100 hp (1,566 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp propeller engine, and an Allis-Chalmers J36 turbojet, the aircraft was in theory the fastest fighter in the US Navy at that time.

The first flight of the first prototype was on 27 February 1945, without the turbojet installed.

When this was completed in April of the same year, the aircraft flew several mixed-power trials, however on 8 May, it crashed on a landing approach.

The second prototype flew for the first time on 9 July, again in 1945, and was soon followed by a third prototype.

Both aircraft showed promise, however, by October 1946, the Navy had lost interest in the mixed-power concept and cancelled further development.





43 ft 8 in (13.32 m) tail up.


48 ft (15 m)


20 ft 5 in (6.22 m) wings folded.


15 ft 3 in (4.65 m) wings spread; 17 ft (5.2 m) wings folded.

Wing area

400 sq ft (37 m2)

Empty weight

12,648 lb (5,737 kg)

Gross weight

16,630 lb (7,543 kg)

Max take-off weight

18,698 lb (8,481 kg) maximum overload


1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W Double Wasp 18-cyl air-cooled radial piston engine,

2,100 hp (1,600 kW).


1 × Allis-Chalmers J36 centrifugal flow turbojet,

2,700 lbf (12 kN) thrust.


4-bladed Hamilton Standard constant-speed fully feathering propeller, 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m) diameter.


Maximum speed

469 mph (755 km/h, 408 kn) both engines at 25,300 ft (7,700 m)


1,385 mi (2,229 km, 1,204 nmi)

Service ceiling

41,800 ft (12,700 m)

Rate of climb

5,020 ft/min (25.5 m/s)



4 x wing-mounted 20 mm (.79 in) cannon.

Share on facebook