SC Seahawk, U.S. Reconnaissance Float Plane

Photograph of SC Seahawk

National Archives #80-G-399644

Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk


Dimensions 41'-" by 36'4" by 15'0"
12.50m by 11.08m by 4.88m
Wing area 280 square feet
26 square meters
Weight 6320-9000 lbs
2867-4082 kg
Maximum speed       313 mph at 28,600'
504 km/h at 8717m
Cruise speed
130 mph
209 km/h
Climb rate 42 fps
12.7 m/s
Service ceiling 37,300'
Power plant One 1350hp (1007 kW) Wright R-1820-62 Cyclone nine-cylinder radial engine driving a four bladed propeller
Armament 2 0.50 machine guns
External stores 650 lbs (295 kg) bombs or depth charges
Range 1090 miles
1754 km
At Columbus, Ohio:
563 SC-1 from 1944-10
10 SC-2
The SC-2 had a 1425hp (1063 kW) R-1830-76 engine, improved canopy, and provisions for a passenger.

The Curtiss SC Seahawk was intended to replace the SOC Seagull used on U.S. cruisers during the Pacific War. Like most other U.S. seaplanes, the aircraft were delivered with fixed undercarriages to allow it to operate from carriers and airfields, and these were replaced with pontoons as needed by the Navy.

The design came out of a June 1942 requirement for a seaplane with improved performance. Curtiss' design was approved in October 1942, and the Navy was so anxious for the new seaplane that a contract was placed for 500 units in June 1943, even though the first prototype did not fly until 16 February 1944. The Seahawk did not see combat until June 1945 over Borneo. Though 950 units were eventually ordered, production ceased with the surrender of Japan, and the remaining units ordered were canceled.  Only a small number of units were retained in service after the war.

A novel feature was a bomb bay within the central float, which also could carry additional fuel.

References (accessed 2012-1-4)

Wilson (1998)

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