CURTISS CW-21 DEMON

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The CW-21 Demon was a light fighter developed on the basis of the CW-19R multi-purpose two-seater monoplane, itself derived from the CW-19L and 19W. Designed in 1938 by engineer Willis Wells, the all-metal single-winged low-wing aircraft flew for the first time on October 11, 1938. Designated CW-21A, it was equipped with a 1,000 hp 9-cylinder radial engine cooled By air, of a conventional landing gear retractable in tubular fairings by pivoting the wheel towards the trailing edge of the wing and its armament consisted of two cal machine guns. 50 (12.7 mm) on the engine hood and a cal machine gun. 30 (7.62 mm) to each wing. The CW-21B version differed only by installing a more conventional landing gear, retracting from the wing to the fuselage fitting, and completely closed by hatches. The aircraft, although without pilot's protections or fuel tanks, had satisfactory performance and combat qualities, but far from matching those of the best American fighter of the moment, the P-40 Tomahawk, so it was Decided to produce it in series only for export.



Thirty two Demon were built for China, where they entered service in February 1939. Technically superior to their Japanese opponents Nakajima Ki.27 Nate, but in the hands of inexperienced pilots, they became very easy targets for the Japanese air force, Especially when it was massively equipped with the Mitsubishi A6M Rei Sen (Zero, "Zeke"). Another 24 copies of the CW-21 were sent to the Netherlands for the Dutch East Indies, where they entered service in March 1940. The German attack in Europe and the Japanese advance in Asia led the Batavian metropolis to urgently propose The use of his new hunters at the American Volunteer Group (AVG, nicknamed "Flying Tigers"), by General Claire L. Chennault.

A group of three first aircraft, driven by Erik Shilling (flight leader), Lacy Mangleburg and his wingman left Rangoon in Burma to join the main base of the Flying Tigers in Kunming. But the absence of radio sets, engine problems due to fuel, and very poor weather conditions led to the loss of the Demon which crashed on the mountainside during the journey.

Subsequently, other CW-21s were shipped to the various theaters of operations of the Pacific War (Burma, Assam, Java, October to December 1940). In spite of the weakness of its armament, the lightness of the craft, even if it ensured a remarkable maneuverability during the fighting, did not allow him to "cash" as well as other apparatus, friends or opponents, and his The last supportive offensive mission, close to failure, took place on March 5, 1942. Delegated to utilitarian tasks far from the front, the Demon had virtually no impact on the unfolding of the world conflict.


Specifications :  

Wingspan 10.66 m
Length 8.29 m
Wing area 16.19 m2
Empty weight 1 534 kg
With armament 2,041 kg
Performance :
Max speed 505 km / h
Armament

Internal 2 machine guns Browning M1919

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