The World War II Photo of the Week
for 16 June 2003
|Seahawk Takes Flight ...|
A Curtiss SC-1 Seahawk is shown taking off on water. A ship-borne scout and rescue plane that could also be launched by catapult, the Seahawk was considered the best Navy float plane produced in WW II. The replacement for the famous Vought Kingfisher, it was armed with two .30-caliber machine guns (some mounting .50s were produced) and could carry 700 pounds of bombs mounted externally. Most previous ship-based spotter aircraft were two-seaters with a rear observer/gunner, but the Seahawk, against convention, was designed as a single-seat aircraft which could theoretically hold its own against enemy fighters. Seahawks were manufactured in by Curtiss in Columbus, Ohio, and initially fitted out with a fixed-wheel undercarriage. They were then ferried to Navy bases, where the floats were fitted. Seahawks were issued as standard equipment from late 1944 onwards, but saw only limited combat in the final weeks of the war. A total of 576 were built before construction was halted in 1945, since the helicopter was soon to dominate the role of ship-based reconnaissance craft.