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Curtiss 1A "Gulfhawk"

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This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.


The one-of-a-kind Gulfhawk was flown from 1930 to 1936 by Al Williams, former chief test pilot for the U.S. Navy and famous aerobatic pilot. Originally built by Curtiss as a Hawk I export demonstrator with a Curtiss D-12 liquid-cooled engine, it was converted to a Hawk 1A with a Wright Cyclone air-cooled radial engine, then further modified by Williams several times. He flew the Gulfhawk in military and public air shows to promote military aviation during the inter-war years, when aviation budgets were low.

By 1933, Williams managed and flew for the aviation department of Gulf Oil Company, which painted the Gulfhawk in its familiar color scheme of orange with white and blue trim. After Williams' death, movie stunt pilot Frank Tallman restored and flew the airplane and displayed it between shows at the Tallmantz Movieland of the Air Museum.

Gift of Dolphin D. Overton

Manufacturer: Curtiss Airplane Co.

Date: ca. 1929

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: Wingspan: 9.9 m (31 ft 6 in)
Length: 6.7 m (22 ft 10 in)
Height: 2.4 m (8 ft 11 in)
Weight, empty: 978 kg (2,161 lb)
Weight, gross: 1,342 kg (2,963 lb)
Top speed: 249 km/h (155 mph)
Engine: Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340, 600 hp

Materials: Fuselage: steel tube with fabric cover

Physical Description:Civilian version of 1930s fighter; orange with black and white trim. Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340, 600 hp engine.

Inventory number: A19700171000

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