CR-2, CW-19, and CW-23
Curtiss-Wright CW-19 Coupe
Role Civil utility aircraft
Manufacturer Curtiss-Robertson Airplane Manufacturing Company, Curtiss-Wright
First flight 1935
Primary users Bolivian Armed Forces
Ecuadorian Air Force
Number built 26
Developed into Curtiss-Wright CW-21
Curtiss-Wright CW-22

The Curtiss-Wright CW-19 was a civil utility aircraft designed in the United States in the mid-1930s and built in small quantities in a number of variants including the CW-23 military trainer prototype.

Design and development

Originally conceived as the Curtiss-Robertson CR-2 Coupe shortly before the Curtiss-Wright merger and the dropping of the Curtiss-Robertson brand, it was an all-metal, low-wing cantilever monoplane of conventional configuration with fixed tailwheel undercarriage and side-by-side seating for two. A prominent feature on all versions other than the original CR-2 prototypes was the large "trouser"-style wheel spats. While the design was never perfected for the civil market it was originally intended for, a militarized version was soon developed that replaced the side-by-side cabin with tandem seating and added provision for guns and bombs.


Twenty-six CW-19s of all types were produced. The first was a single CW-19L built in 1935, known as either "Coupe" or "Sparrow" in documents. It would be purchased by the US Government and assigned the registration number NS-69. The second aircraft built was a CW-19W, which featured a much more powerful 145 hp Warner Super Scarab in place of the Lambert engine. It was decided that this aircraft was not well-suited for private civil aviation, and was also discontinued after one prototype.

The military-grade CW-19R saw a significant revision to the cockpit and canopy, removing the old "Coupe" design and replacing it with a tandem-seat sliding glass canopy. Powerplant options varied between the Wright R-760E2 and Wright R-975E3. A variety of armament options were also available, including a synchronized fuselage-mounted machine gun firing through the propeller arc, two gun pods mounted outboard of the landing gear, a flexible mount for the second aviator to use as a defensive turret, bombs, and an auxiliary fuel tank. Twenty two examples would be produced and would be the only version to be sold, with the majority going to South and Central American countries.

The CW-A19R was an unarmed version of the CW-19R intended for the USAAC but without any success. It would also be offered on the civil market as the ATC A-629. A total of two CW-A19R would be completed—one company demonstrator for Curtiss-Wright and one sold to a private owner. A third was not completed and rebuilt as a CW-22.

A CW-B19R was planned and advertised, based upon the CW-A19R but with a four or five-seat civilian cabin, but it was not built.

Operational history

Curtiss-Wright hoped that in its militarized form the CW-19 could be sold on the export market as a ground-attack machine. But orders were disappointing, with two sold to the Dominican Republic, ten to Bolivia, six to Ecuador, and three to Cuba. Additionally, one example was delivered to China where it was likely purchased. An unarmed trainer version was also developed and offered to the USAAC but no orders were placed.

In a final attempt to find a market for the design, engine power was increased from 450 hp (340 kW) to 600 hp (450 kW), and a retractable undercarriage was fitted. In this form, designated CW-23, the aircraft was offered once again to the USAAC, this time as an advanced trainer, but once again the service was not interested. The CW-19 did, however, form the basis of the far more successful CW-21 and CW-22 designs.



Surviving aircraft

Surviving CW-19R being unloaded from a trailer in Florida

Two CW-19R survive intact, one in the Airforce Museum in Dominican Republic, and one flying with Kermit Weeks fantasy of flight. The Dominican Republic one flew as “Colon” in the 1937 Pan-American flight to raise funds for the Columbus Lighthouse in the Dominican Republic. The sole surviving flightworthy example was bartered with F86 aircraft for T-33 parts to support Bolivia's T33 aircraft by Debra Boostrom Hoedebecke, it was transported back to the U.S. in a Bolivian C130 aircraft only fitting by a few inches on each side to Patrick AFB transported to San Antonio Tx then to Coleman Tx for a complete rebuild. The elevation where it was on display over the monument of the Bolivian War Hero in La Paz Bolivia kept it in pristine condition at an altitude of over 12,000 feet the corrosion was very minimal. It was completely restored my Long Aircraft in Coleman Texas in 1996-97. It proudly flew to the Oshkosh air show in 1997 where is won rarest warbird! Debra Boostrom Hoedebecke sold the aircraft to antique collector Don Carter in 1999, after Carters death his estate sold it to Kermit Weeks at Fantasy of Flight on March 22, 2013, having been transported from Bolivia in 1995 for restoration.[6] The airplane carries its original Bolivian markings, per the export agreement with the Bolivian government.[7]

Specifications (CW-19R)

Curtiss-Wright CW-19R 3-view drawing from L'Aerophile February 1937

Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947[8]

General characteristics



See also

Related development



  1. ^ Hagedorn, Dan. "The Curtiss-Wright 19R All Metal Light-Combat Aircraft." Skyways, October 1995.
  2. ^ "Warrior". Flying. Vol. 26, no. 4. April 1940. p. 13. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Hagedorn 1992, p.76.
  4. ^ Lennart 2008, p. 129.
  5. ^ Bowers 1979, p. 411.
  6. ^ Sport Aviation Magazine March, 1996
  7. ^ "Fantasy of Flight's Facebook Page". Fantasy of Flight. Retrieved 2013-03-22.
  8. ^ Bowers, Peter M. (1979). Curtiss aircraft, 1907-1947. London: Putnam. pp. 410–413. ISBN 0370100298.
  9. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.


Media related to Curtiss-Wright CW-19 at Wikimedia Commons