Historical Snapshot

The Model 15 (PW-9) was the first successful Boeing-designed fighter and established the company as a major American builder of military aircraft.

Its internal bracing was arc-welded tubing rather than the spruce and wire used in older biplanes. However, it still had wooden spars and ribs. It was designated PW-9 (for “pursuit water-cooled design 9”) by the U.S. Army and designated FB-1 by the Navy.

Between 1923 and 1928, Boeing built 157 PW-9/FBs in different versions, as well as 77 derivatives as NBs (Navy training planes). The NBs were 4 feet (1.21 meters) longer than the PW-9/FBs and powered by either 180- or 200-horsepower engines. Included in the 77 were five NBs that Boeing sold to Peru.

PW-9/FB Fighter

Technical Specifications

First flight June 2, 1923
Model number 15
Classification Fighter
Span 32 feet
Length 23 feet 5 inches
Gross weight 3,120 pounds
Top speed 159.1 mph
Cruising speed 142 mph
Range 390 miles
Ceiling 18,925 feet
Power 435-horsepower Curtiss D-12 engine
Accommodation 1 pilot
Armament One .30-caliber machine gun and one .55-caliber machine gun or two .30-caliber machine guns, two 122-pound bombs