No. 13082. Curtiss 97B SC-1 Seahawk US Navy
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 3556

Curtiss 97B SC-1 Seahawk

03/15/2017. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "In June 1942 the USN solicited design proposals for an improved scouting seaplane to operate from cruisers. Curtiss submitted studies of its single-seat Model 97. The Navy issued a letter of intent in October and followed with a contract for two XSC-1s on 31 March, 1943.

Named Seahawk, the SC, of conservative design, was a low-wing monoplane with a 1,350 hp Wright R-1820-62 Cyclone engine and folding wings. It profited from the problems of the Model 84 SB2C by stressing both structural and systems simplicity. Although designated as a scout, the SC had good strike capability, armament was a pair of forward-firing 0.50 in (12.7 mm) caliber machineguns and up to 325 lb (147 kg) of bombs under each wing. Although operated as a single-seater, the SC-1 could carry a patient on a litter in the fuselage and had two compartments in the central float for additional bombs.

The first of two Model 97A XSC-1s flew on 16 February, 1944, BuNo. were 34095 and 34096. In June 1943, eight months before the prototypes flew, 500 production Model 97B SC-1s were ordered, BuNo. 35298 to 35797, with the first three used as production prototypes, also designated XSC-1. A second order for 450 was terminated after 66 (BuNo. 93302 to 93367) were delivered up to VJ Day. While the SC-1s operated primarily as seaplanes, Curtiss built and delivered them as landplanes. The Navy negotiated a separate contract with Edo (Earl D. Osborne Co.) for manufacture of the floats. The Seahawk entered service in October 1944, replacing SOCs and SO3Cs, and served into 1949, when fixed-wing scouts were replaced by helicopters.

Initially designated Model 97C XSC-1A, one SC-1 (BuNo. 35202) was modified with an 1,425 hp R-1820-76 engine; before completion it was redesignated XSC-2. Distinguishing features were the completely circular engine cowling (as viewed from the front) and the clear-blown instead of segmented cockpit canopy. Later it was temporarily designated XSC-2A due to installation of arrester gear. Only ten (BuNo. 119529 to 119538) of a projected 450 Model 97D SC-2s were completed, due to VJ Day cancellations."

Created March 15, 2017