The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk was a parasite fighter designed to be deployed from and recovered by a large rigid-framed airship, using a special hook/anchor system. It was designed early in 1930, and two prototypes and six production aircraft were delivered with an aim to serve on the USS Akron and Macon.
It was a biplane of all metal semi-monocoque fuselage structure and metal tail surfaces, with fabric-covered wings. It was powered by the Wright Whirlwind R-975-E3 radial engine and carried an armament of two 7.62mm Browning machine guns.
Originally intended to provide fighter protection for the dirigibles, the F9C-2s were used primarily to extend the reconnaissance capabilities of the parent airship. The Akron had a complement of three aircraft, while the Macon, which was lost on 12 February 1935, carried four F9C-2s. In order to increase their scouting range while the airship was on operations, some Sparrowhawks were modified by having their landing gear removed and replaced by a fuel tank.