Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 (oz5624)


Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 (oz5624) by Ted Schreyer 1987 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 Navy Racer. Radio control scale model for OS .15 power. US Navy Page Racer. Scale is 1/8.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 30/07/2014: Re-scaled this plan to correct full size at 47.5 in wingspan, thanks to David.

Update 17/7/2022: Added article, thanks to Pit.

Quote: "US Navy Page Racer, Curtiss Hawk AE-3, by Ted Schereyer.

This small scale RC model is an accurate version of the Navy's biplane fighter that was modified to a monowing in order to compete against the Army in the Thompson Trophy Race in 1930.

Is there an aircraft with more personality, historical pizzaz, or natural features for a really great scale mode! than the Curtiss Hawk AE-3 (XF6C-6), also known as the 'Page Racer'? Probably. But this streamlined racing machine with the classic lines, Navy colors, polished brass wingskin radiators, teardrop wheelpants, bullet nose, and stable aerodynamic planform certainly ranks up there with the best.

The Page Racer, despite its sleek looks, was actually a standard Navy fighter biplane that was given a quick but extensive reworking into a racing monoplane to compete with the Army and civilian racers in the Thompson Trophy Race scheduled for September 1st 1930, in Chicago. By removing the lower wings, streamlining everything hanging out in the breeze, installing a 740 hp Curtiss Conqueror engine, and using external radiator skins on the wing, the Hawk AE-3 could do well over 220 mph.

Capt Arthur H Page flew the XF6C-6 in the Thompson and was well in the lead after 17 laps with only three to go when his plane veered off course and crashed. Capt. Page, who died as a result of the crash, had been overcome by carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes and lost control of the racer.

Despite a tragic ending, the Page Racer became popular with modelers, and at least two companies, Cleveland and Lindberg, put out kits of the plane.

When contemplating designing the Hawk AE-3 as a lightweight radio controlled model, a number of problems surfaced. For one, the model engine would be enclosed by the cowl, so a way to get air in and out of the cowl was needed. And the high wing on struts was a design problem specially when this unit had to be removable for access to the inside of the fuselage where the ROC equipment is located. But the thing that bothered the most was how to simulate the wingskin radiators without incurring a lot of unwanted weight. These problems were given a lot of thought, and what seemed to be the best practical answer to each situation was chosen, although other ways of doing it might suit you better. The saying, 'a lot of ways to skin a cat' applies. Sorry, Garfield!

The original model was strong enough for fun flying and light enough to fly well and have a floating glide, but with rudder-only R/C control, the landings on tarmac sometimes went over on the nose. And landing in the tall grass saved the spinner and wheel pants, but resulted in a covering of seeds, chaff, dry grass and bugs stuck in the castor oil film from the exhaust. So it was decided to stray even further from the "purity" of free flight and add control to the elevator and engine.

There is an almost overabundance of information on the AE-3, even though it was one-of-a-kind and was destroyed after only a few months of life. Scale drawings, magazine articles, photos, sketches, and kits from days gone by constitute the sources. Photos seem to offer the most reliability, and the Smithsonian can help there. The Wylam and Karlstrom scale drawings are similar overall, but differ in some aspects such as the juxtaposition of the rudder and elevator hinge lines, the extent of the windscreen and headrest, and fuselage cross sections around the engine. This model does not sport a lot of detail, but certainly the opportunity is there to add as much as one desires.

Construction is basic balsa wood stick model with balsa blocks and sheet covering in places, and plywood pieces for strength; the model covered with silk or similar material; and the whole doped for durability and authentic finish. An OS .15 R/C provided more than enough power.

The fuselage is made from two sides constructed over the plan (shown shaded), joined by crosspieces to make a long, box-like structure, and then the plywood, formers, stringers, and sheeting are added. The plywood pieces should be cut carefully, especially the nose pieces, as a tight fit will ensure strength and a good foundation for the engine, In making the engine cowl, use waxed paper or plastic film in between fuselage and cowl to keep the glue in the right place, and build the cowl right in place. The cowl is keyed in place by four dowels and held down by a rubber band stretched between the hooks inside the cowl. The fuel tank can be held in foam to cushion the vibration by another rubber band across the lower hooks. The screened opening in the front of the cowl is not scale but is needed to let air in to cool the engine..."

Supplementary file notes



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Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 (oz5624) by Ted Schreyer 1987 - model pic

  • (oz5624)
    Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6
    by Ted Schreyer
    from Model Builder
    October 1987 
    48in span
    Scale IC R/C Parasol Racer Military
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 31/05/2014
    Filesize: 879KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: JJ
    Downloads: 3695

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Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 (oz5624) by Ted Schreyer 1987 - pic 003.jpg
Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 (oz5624) by Ted Schreyer 1987 - pic 004.jpg
Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 (oz5624) by Ted Schreyer 1987 - pic 005.jpg
Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 (oz5624) by Ted Schreyer 1987 - pic 006.jpg
Curtiss Hawk AE3 XF6C-6 (oz5624) by Ted Schreyer 1987 - pic 007.jpg

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User comments

The listing states a span of 48". However my PDF sheet size indicates 47.67" maximum with the full span of the wing drawing somewhat less than sheet width. Apparently there's a discrepancy in the size of the drawing. Thanks again for all your time.
David - 29/07/2014
Ok, fixed now. Wingspan is now 47-1/2in. Because the database uses integer values for the wingspan field (rounded up), the listing is 48 not 47-1/2.
SteveWMD - 30/07/2014
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