Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

robold_p-40_nz3009-2The 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.

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