Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region

Mecenas Muzeum

Kraków Airport

Instytut Techniczny Wojsk Lotniczych - sponsor restauracji samolotu Caudron  CR.714 Cyclone

Patroni Medialni

Skrzydlata Polska

Aeroplane: Curtiss Hawk II

Curtiss Hawk II

  • Technical data

Span 9.6 m
Length 7.6 m
Take-off weight 1750 kg
Maximum speed 335 km/h
Ceiling 7300 m
Range 920 km
Armament 2x 7.62mm machine guns buried in fuselage and 1x 227kg bomb under the fuselage or 4x 50kg bombs on the bomb racks under the wings.
Powerplant :
9 - cylinder radial Wright R - 1820F Cyclone, 710hp (525kW) (The engine after restoration at the museum was started)
Virtual tour :


Despite the fact that at the beginning of XX century, aviation was very popular on the American continent, the USA did not belong to technical leaders on this field. The situation changed radically at the beginning of 1920's, when the more modern construction started to appear. It was forced by the situation on the market - only the companies building aircraft in competitive quality and price could survive. The other reason was the 1926 Air Corps Act. Naval aviation gained the most during the defence structure reorganising – the introduction of new of aircraft started there.

Established by Glen Curtiss, the American aviation pioneer and pilot, the Curtiss Aeroplane Company & Motor Corporation, started in 1923 the production of the Hawk aircraft in army and navy versions. They were biplanes of mixed construction. In 1932, the radial engine F - 11 C "Goshhawk" appeared, used by the US Navy as a carrier borne fighter and dive bomber. The simplified export version - the Hawk II was bought by the air forces of Bolivia, Chile, China, Columbia, Cuba, Peru, Thailand and Turkey.

The Curtiss Hawk II with its features drew the attention of General Ernst Udet and other German military specialists, interested in the possibility of dive bombing. Udet, the First World War fighter ace and an excellent aerobatic pilot, visiting the USA and observing the Hawk aircraft in flight, became convinced that it may serve as initial material for future German dive bomber program. Because of the Versailles Treaty limitations, forbidding the Germans to possess military aviation, two Hawks – the H-80 and the H-81 were bought as civilian, unarmed aircraft. Both airframes were registered in Germany as the D-IRIS and the D-IRIK. The first crashed on the 20th June 1934, with Udet bailing out. The second, displayed at the Polish Aviation Museum took part in air shows in the years 1934–1937. It was one of the attractions of the air show assisting the opening ceremony of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

The Curtiss Hawk II D-IRIK, displayed at the museum is a world unique aircraft. During a thorough restoration process its engine was started, fabric covering of the fuselage and empennage restored, and the wings reconstructed.


Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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