Curtiss YA-10

Curtiss YA-10/XS2C-1

By Joe Baugher

The first Curtiss YA-8 [32-344] was held up at the factory for tests with an air-cooled 625hp P&W R-1690D Hornet 9-cylinder radial replacing the Curtiss Conqueror V-12 liquid-cooled inline that powered other A-8s which had been delivered to the Army. Following the change of engines, the aircraft was redesignated YA-10.

With the new powerplant, the plane was delivered to Wright Field on Sep 8, 1932. Flight tests proved that the radial engine was superior to the liquid-cooled Conqueror for attack aircraft. Although less streamlined than inline engines, they were less expensive to operate and did not have complex radiators vulnerable to enemy fire. The Army was so impressed with the YA-10 that it decided all subsequent examples should be delivered with radials, and stipulated that the 48 A-8Bs then on order would switch from the geared V-1570-57 to the air-cooled 670hp Wright Cyclone radial and be redesignated A-12.

On Dec 6, 1932, the YA-10 was sent to Fort Crockett for service testing, where it was assigned to the 13th Attack Squadron of the 3rd Group. It was transferred to Barksdale Field LA in July 1934 and served alongside the A-8s that had already entered service with the 3rd. It was then sent to the San Antonio Air Depot on Apr 29, 1934, from where it was assigned to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth KS on Aug 8, 1934, then assigned to Chanute Field IL on Sep 14, 1938, where it was scrapped on Feb 23, 1939.

A duplicate of YA-10 was ordered for tests by the Navy under the designation XS2C-1 [9377]. It was delivered in 1933, and some tests were carried out, but no further orders from the Navy were forthcoming.

-- American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner (Doubleday 1982)
-- Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M Bowers (Naval Institute Press 1979)
-- The Curtiss Shrike, Kenn C Rust and Walter M Jefferies Jr (Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday 1969)