Curtiss A-12 Shrike

The Curtiss A-12 Shrike was the second monoplane attack aircraft of the United States Army Air Corps, and its main attack aircraft through most of the 1930s. It was based on the Curtiss A-8, but had radial engines instead of the inline, water-cooled engines, as well as other changes. 

Curtiss A-12 Shrike
Class Aircraft
Type Attack
Manufacturer Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1933
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company 46 View

The Curtiss Model 60 was developed from advancements of the A-8 and the experimental YA-10. However, it became obsolete after a short use period, mainly because of fast-improving aviation technology. 

Nine USAAC A-12s were still in service at Hickam Field on December 7, 1941 but saw no combat. Surviving Shrikes were grounded just after Pearl Harbor was bombed in December 1941.

Role Ground-attack aircraft
Manufacturer Curtiss
Introduction 1933
Retired 1942
Primary users United States Army Air Corps
Nationalist Chinese Air Force
Number built 46
Developed from XA-8 Shrike
YA-10 Shrike

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
  • Wingspan: 44 ft 0 in (13.41 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
  • Wing area: 284 ft (26.38 m)
  • Empty weight: 3,898 lb (1,768 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 5,756 lb (2,611 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engine, 690 hp (515 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 177 mph (154 knots, 285 km/h)
  • Range: 521 mi (453 nmi, 838 km)
  • Service ceiling 15,150 ft (4,620 m)


  • Guns:
    • 4 x forward-firing .30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns
    • 1 x aft-firing .30 in gun
  • Bombs: 4 x 122 lb (55 kg) bombs on underwing racks or 10 x 30 lb (13.6 kg) fragmentation bombs in chutes on either side of the main fuel tank

End notes