Curtiss A-8 Shrike


XA-8


Designed in response to an Army Air Corps requirement issued in 1930 for a new, modern attack
aircraft, the XA-8 first flew in June of 1931. In this 'contest' for a new attack bird, the XA-8
emerged victorious over its only competitor... the General Aviation (Fokker) XA-7.

The XA-8 was the first monoplane that Curtiss built for the U.S. Army and was also
the prototype of what would ultimately become the A-8/A-10/A-12 'Shrike' family.

For more info about the A-8 Shrike, read Joe Baugher's article, HERE...



Original image: National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image



Original image: National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image



Original image: National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image



Project 914 Archives - Larger Image



YA-8 & Y1A-8


After the XA-8 was chosen by the USAAC over the XA-7, thirteen service test ships were
ordered... five YA-8s and eight Y1A-8s. These service test ships were quite similar to the XA-8,
with the only major difference being the engines installed. The XA-8 was powered by a water-cooled
Curtiss V-1570C Conqueror while the YA/Y1A-8s were powered by Prestone-cooled V-1570-31s.
Also, the YA/Y1A-8s had armament installed while the XA-8, though able to, did not carry any.


These next four photos show the first YA-8 built, serial number 32-344.
This ship was later fitted with a Pratt & Whitney radial and became the XA-10.


Original image: National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image



Original image: National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image



Original image: National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image



Original image: National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image



The Y1A-8s were identical to the YA-8s, with the only difference being the source
of the funds used to procure them. This is serial 32-349, the first Y1A-8 constructed.


Original image: National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image



After their evalution by the Air Corps, eleven of the service test ships were redesignated as plain
'ole A-8s and assigned to the 3rd Attack Group, serving alongside that outfit's Curtiss A-3 Falcons.

A-8 #60 of the 13th Attack Squadron was originally one of the five YA-8s.


Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection) - Larger Image



National Museum of the United States Air Force - Larger Image


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