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Curtiss XP-22 Hawk

Curtiss XP-22 Hawk was a 1930s American experimental biplane fighter built by Curtiss for evaluation by the United States Army Air Service.

In 1929, the AAC ordered three P-11 Hawks for testing of the 600 hp (447 kW) H-1640 Chieftain engine.

This engine proved a failure, and before completion, one of the three was converted to use a 9-cylinder 575 hp (429 kW) Cyclone, being completed as the YP-20.

Testing with the R-1820 was prolonged, so the Army acquired another of the three P-11s, instead.

This became the XP-22.

A number of changes were made for installing the 700 hp (520 kW) Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror engine.

The radiator was relocated, a new cowl was fitted, and the tail was given more fin and less rudder area, and featured a steerable tailwheel, rather than the original skid.

For these changes, Curtiss charged only US$1.

During testing, the XP-22 underwent a number of alterations and improvements, including a change from a three-strut landing gear to a single streamlined strut, later fitted with wheel pants. 

Fillets were added where struts joined the wing and the tail was briefly reduced in area, to P-6 standard.

The XP-22 was also the Army’s first fighter capable of 200 mph (320 km/h), achieving 202 mph (325 km/h).

In June 1931, the AAC held a competition to evaluate the P-6, P-12, YP-20, and XP-22.

The XP-22 came out the winner, earning a contract for 45 aircraft as the Y1P-22. Following the trials, the XP-22 donated a nose and landing gear graft to the YP-20, which became the XP-6E, and the 45-production aircraft were completed to this standard.


XP-22 Hawk




23 ft 7 in (7.19 m)


31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)


8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)


Clark Y

Empty weight

2,597 lb (1,178 kg)

Max take-off weight

3,354 lb (1,521 kg)


1 × Curtiss V-1570-23 Conqueror V-12 water-cooled piston engine,

575 hp (429 kW)


2-bladed propeller


Maximum speed

202 mph (325 km/h, 176 kn)

Service ceiling

26,500 ft (8,100 m)



2x 0.300 in (7.62 mm) machine-guns in the fuselage sides.


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