Boeing Model 15 (PW-9)

Boeing Model 15 (PW-9)

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. It was designated PW-9 (for “pursuit water-cooled design 9) by the 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 longer than the PW-9/FBs and powered by either 180- or 200-horsepower engines. Boeing sold five NBs to Peru.


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 cal. machine gun and one .55 cal. machine gun or two .30 cal. machine guns, two 122-pound bombs