The P-40 series was in no way a very special fighter but was a more than average fighter-bomber, just two other US fighters were build in larger numbers the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and the North American P-51 Mustang.
The base for the P-40 series was model 751, a model 75/XP-37A airframe was adjusted for the Allison V-1710-11 Line-engine (858 kW) and it became the first American fighter witch flew at a constant height at a speed of more than 483 Kph. (300 miles).
The type was bought by the US Army Air Corps under the name P-40 with a less powerful V-1710-33 engine.
Export versions where the Hawk 81-A1 for France, and the Tomahawk Mk I for the United Kingdom.
Improved models were:
- P-40B (Tomahawk Mk IIA): with self closing fuel tanks, armor and better weaponry.
- P-40C (Tomahawk Mk IIB): with improved self closing fuel tanks, and two extra machineguns in the wings.
- P-40D (Kittyhawk Mk I): powered by the V-1710-39 engine (858 kW) with improved turbo to keep up performance at higher altitudes.
- P-40E: With 4 wing machineguns
- Kittyhawk Mk IA: Identical to the P-40E only 6x wing machineguns
- P-40F / P-40L (Kittyhawk Mk II): New Packard V-1650-1 engine (969) an American build Rolls-Royce Merlin
The greatest power of the P-40 was the performance as fighter-bomber at low altitude and further developments were:
- P-40K (Kittyhawk Mk III): P-40E with V-1710-33 engine
- P-40M: with the V-1710-71 engine
- and the final P-40N (Kittyhawk Mk IV): with V-1710-81/99/115 engine and alterations to decrease weight for improvement of performance.
Curtiss P-40F Warhawk fact sheet:
- Developing Nation: United States
- First Flight(s): not known
- Crew: 1
- Wing span: 11,38 m.
- Wing area: 21,93 m²
- Length: 10,16 m.
- Weight empty: 2989 Kg.
- Flight weight: 4241 Kg.
- Engine: Packard build Rolls-Roce V-1650-1 Merlin line-engine with water-cooling (969 kW)
- Max. speed: 586 Kph. at 6096 m.
- Max. height: 10.485 m.
- Max. range: 603 Km.
- Weapons: 6x 12,7 mm machineguns and a maximum bomb load of 227 Kg.