|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Curtiss|
Progenitor of the famous Hawk series of fighters, the PW-8 (the "PW" prefix indicating "Pursuit Water-cooled") was a single-seat two-bay fighter biplane of mixed construction - plywood-covered wooden wings and fabric-skinned welded steel tube fuselage - powered by a 440hp Curtiss D-12 water-cooled 12- cylinder Vee engine. Three prototypes were ordered on 27 April 1923, and the first of these, flown in the previous January, was retroactively designated XPW-8 on 14 May 1924. The second prototype, flown in March 1924, embodied some aerodynamic refinement and provided the basis for the production PW-8, 25 examples being ordered on 25 September 1923 and delivered between June and August 1924. The PW-8 featured wing surface radiators and armament normally comprised two 7.62mm machine guns. A turbo-supercharger was experimentally fitted to the second production aircraft, and the third prototype (XPW-8A), delivered in February 1924, featured 9.14m span single-bay wings and a revised radiator arrangement. It was subsequently fitted with a tunnel-type radiator (as the XPW-8A) and, in December 1924, with 9.60m span wings of tapered planform and Clark Y aerofoil section as the XPW-8B. It thus became, in effect, the prototype P-1 Hawk.