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Monogram - RMX3 - 1/72 BFC2 Goshawk 1930s USN Fighter/Bomber

Monogram - RMX3 - 1/72 BFC2 Goshawk 1930s USN Fighter/Bomber


The Curtiss “Hawk” biplane fighter series originated in about 1924 when the first  XPW-8B was tested by the Army. This was a development of previous Curtiss racing planes.  The Navy showed interest, and the first Navy “Hawk”, the F6C-1, appeared in 1925, powered by a 400 hp. Curtiss D-12 liquid cooled engine.  Different combinations of fuselage, wing, and engine were tried over the years, and in 1932, the XF11C-2 appeared, powered by a 700 hp. Wright R-1820E
“cyclone” radial engine.
  The prototype had originally been built as a company demonstrator,

and the Navy immediately ordered 28 production models, all of which went to VF-1B aboard the USS Saratoga. About a year later, these planes were rebuilt with different rear fuselages, and partial sliding canopies, and these were redesignated BFC-2 to denote their role as fighter-bombers.  In fact, these airplanes remained in service for some time with various squadrons, and it was this aircraft that served as the prototype for the Navy dive bomber.  They were so impressive that when they were observed by Ernst Udet during the 1933  Cleveland National Air Races, two were bought for the Luftwaffe, and these sold Luftwaffe planners on the idea of the dive bomber, and eventually resulted in the development of the Stuka. There was also an XF11C-1, which was actually a later airplane than the dash 2.  It had a twin row Wright SR-1510 engine and three bladed prop.  Some of its features later were used on the F11C-2.  Check photos for specific details.

The F11C-2 remained a classic fighter, and was very popular during the thirties.  None survives today, although a BFC-2 is on display in the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola.  I don’t know if this is a replica or the real thing, but it is certainly very convincing.  I’ve even seen a Stearman modified to make an F11C-2 lookalike.


The Curtiss Hawk II, as the commercial version was named,  was exported to quite a few countries over the years, including Bolivia, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Germany, Norway, Siam, and Turkey. These different from the Navy version in tailwheel/skid installation, rudder form (no cutout), fuel tanks (some had flush fitting tanks similar to the Curtiss P-6E), and landing gear, which usually involved smaller low pressure tires in wheel pants similar to those on the Curtiss P-6E, except that the wheels were exposed, and not completely enclosed as on the P-6E.  Incidentally, if you are doing a Hawk II  conversion, the wheel pants from the Monogram P-6E are a good start in making wheel pants for the Hawk II. If you want to do any number of these airplanes, it wouldn’t hurt to stock up on F11C-2 and P-6E kits, as they are quite reasonably priced.

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