Happy Birthday America!
For the month of July the LOOTM had to be a home-grown aircraft. One from the 30's had a unique form and a big radial engine. It was said to fly quite well but, lacking strong US Military interest, was mostly exported. The Curtiss did serve with: China, Dutch East Indies, Japan (through captured examples), and (post-war) Turkey.
Curtis built the CW-21 Demon and the CW-22 Falcon during the late 30s and early 40s. The aircraft were race planes, advanced trainers and fighter/interceptor aircraft with a sleek "wasp-waist" profile. Powered by a Wright Cyclone 1820 of 850 HP housed in a wide cowl, the aircraft have a pugnacious appearance. With a variety of two or four gun armament, it was still a product of the 30s--relatively lightly armed and without heavy armor protection. When met with Japan's outstanding Zero in the Pacific, the Wright was woefully outclassed.
While the aircraft did not distinguish itself in combat (not even as well as its stable mate, the P-40, did), it did possess a phenomenal rate of climb. Curtiss claimed it would climb "a mile a minute." While a 5000+ fpm rate of climb has been debated, the aircraft seemed to easily best 4500 fpm. Besides being a real advantage in an interceptor, anything that climbs that fast is just a lot of fun to fly!
The LOOTM for July
The All-American Curtiss CW-21/CW-22
Enjoy, and Happy Birthday, USA!