|Maiden Flight||22 September 1938|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseCurtiss-Wright Model 21 light fighters were originally developed by George A. Page and Willis Wells of Saint Louis Airplane Division of Curtiss-Wright in 1938, who intended on developing a small and nimble fighter whose sole purpose was to quickly climb to altitude to harrass enemy bombers, sacrificing dogfight capabilities (ie. the cockpits and the fuel tanks lacked armor protection). The model was designed for export only, as such philosophy did not match United States Army Air Corps' doctrine. The prototype took flight on 22 Sep 1938 at Wilbur Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, United States; shortly after, the USAAC formally rejected the design.
ww2dbaseThe CW-21 prototype aircraft was then delivered to the Chinese Air Force for evaluation; due to war demands, as Chinese representatives were negotiating with Curtiss-Wright for a contract, the prototype was already sent to the front lines; Curtiss-Wright test pilot Bob Fausel claimed one Japanese bomber shot down on 4 Apr 1939 while flying the CW-21 prototype aircraft. The contract for 4 completed aircraft (including the already-delivered prototype) and 27 kits was signed in May 1939. The three completed aircraft all crashed on 23 Dec 1941 in bad weather while being ferried from Rangoon, Burma to Kunming, China. Of the 27 kits delivered to the Loiwing (Leiyun) CAMCO Factory in Yunnan Province, China to be assembled, many of them were damaged or destroyed by a Japanese aircraft on 26 Oct 1940, and none of the survivors were completed by the time the factory was evacuated due to Japanese advances.
ww2dbaseMeanwhile, the Dutch Army expressed also interest in the CW-21 design. An order for 24 examples of the CW-21B variant was placed in Apr 1940. The kits were delivered to Andir airfield, Bandung, Java, Dutch East Indies in Feb 1941. They saw combat against Japanese Navy aircraft in early 1942, with several victory claims. Most of the Dutch CW-21 fighters were destroyed by the Japanese at the conclusion of the campaign; at least one example was captured by the Japanese and was pressed into service as a liaison aircraft and as a war trophy.
Last Major Revision: Nov 2013
|22 Sep 1938Â||CW-21 prototype aircraft took its first flight at Wilbur Wright Field in Riverside, Ohio, United States.|
|4 Apr 1939Â||Curtiss-Wright test pilot Bob Fausel, flying the CW-21 prototype fighter, claimed one Japanese bomber shot down over China.|
|23 Dec 1941Â||Three CW-21 fighters crashed in poor weather while being ferried from Rangoon, Burma to Kunming, China.|
|Machinery||One Wright R-1820-G5 nine-cyl air-cooled radial engine rated at 850hp|
|Armament||2x12.7mm M2 Browning machine guns, 2x7.62mm M1919 Browning machine guns|
|Wing Area||16.19 mÂ²|
|Weight, Empty||1,534 kg|
|Weight, Loaded||2,041 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||505 km/h|
|Speed, Cruising||454 km/h|
|Rate of Climb||22.90 m/s|
|Service Ceiling||10,500 m|
|Range, Normal||1,014 km|
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