Curtiss F13C


First conceived in 1932, the Curtiss XF13C was an interesting type in that it was designed to be
convertible between a monoplane and sesquiplane configuration. It seems that, at the time, some
within the US Navy were not entirely convinced on the idea of the monoplane fighter, instead
preferring the handling characteristics of the biplane. So, with the XF13C, an opportunity was
provided to test a single basic design in both configurations. While configured as a monoplane
the aircraft was designated XF13C-1, and XF13C-2 while in sesquiplane configuration.

First flown in 1934, the aircraft was tested extensively by the US Navy until it was returned
to Curtiss in 1935 for modifications. In general the XF13C was found to be quite satisfactory, but
the tail was too tall and caused problems while handling aboard a carrier. The engine was also
upgraded, the wing re-designed, and fuel capacity increased, and other minor problems were fixed
as well. All of these changes resulted in another designation for the aircraft... XF13C-3.

No production orders were placed for the type, but undoubtedly much was learned as to the relative
merits of the monoplane and biplane/sesquiplane. In the end, one thing was for sure... the latter's
days were numbered. The XF13C's days were also numbered, with the sole prototype ending
her brief career as a testbed, serving with VWJ-1 at Quantico, Virginia and with the NACA.

The XF13C's ultimate fate seems to be unknown.



These three photos show the XF13C-1 parasol monoplane configuration.


National Museum of Naval Aviation - Larger Image


Project 914 Archives - Larger Image


National Museum of Naval Aviation - Larger Image



Here are two views of the XF13C-2 sesquiplane configuration.
Note that the designator on the rudder has not been changed.


Dan Shumaker's Aviation Web Page - Larger Image


Dan Shumaker's Aviation Web Page - Larger Image



Two photos of the modified XF13C-3...


San Diego Air & Space Museum - Larger Image



...this one taken during the type's time with the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.


NASA - Larger Image


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