Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk airplane model. The Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawks that operated from U.S. Navy airships during the early 1930s were used to test one of the more imaginative ideas in aviation history. These colorful Navy fighters, petite and pleasing in design, captured the imagination of all who saw them. They were deployed with the U.S.S. Akron and Macon, turning these airships into flying aircraft carriers. The Sparrowhawks' aerial trapeze hook-on operations were reminiscent of barnstorming stunts. But these aircraft, intended to protect and to scout for the Navy's giant helium-filled dirigibles, showed genuine military potential during this period of aerial experimentation.