The Curtiss F8C Helldiver is fighter-biplane used before and during the Great Depression. It is the plane that Kong fights on the Empire State Building (at least in the 2005 film).

Design and developmentEdit

The Falcon XO-1 prototype was evaluated by the USAAC along with eleven other prototypes in 1924 and the Douglas XO-2 was declared the winner of that competition. So Curtiss re-engined the prototype with the Packard 1A-1500 for the 1925 trials, which it won. The engine failed to live up to expectations and the O-1 ordered by the Army was fitted with the 435 hp (324 kW) Curtiss V-1150 (D-12) engine.[1]

The aircraft was a conventional unequal-span biplane design with wooden wings, while the fuselage was built using aluminum tubing with steel tie rod bracing.[2] The landing gear was fixed and the tail included a balanced rudder with a rear skid originally, later changed to a tailwheel.

The initial A-3 Falcon order was placed in the winter of 1927 and delivery of the first plane was in October 1927. A total of 76 A-3s were received. Later, six aircraft were modified as pilot trainers with dual controls and redesignated A-3A. A second batch of 78 improved A-3Bs, based on the Curtiss O-1E, was purchased beginning in 1929.


◾Peter Jackson himself played as a pilot in one of these planes.


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