Regardless of whether recognized as the Warhawk, Tomahawk, or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 proved to be a effective, versatile fighter for the duration of the initial half of Globe War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that Gen. Claire Chennault’s "Flying Tigers" flew in China against the Japanese remain amongst the most common airplanes of the war. P-40E pilot Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the initial American ace of World War II when he shot down six Japanese aircraft in the Philippines in mid-December 1941.
Curtiss-Wright constructed this airplane as Model 87-A3 and delivered it to Canada as a Kittyhawk I in 1941. It served until 1946 in No. 111 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force. U.S. Air Force personnel at Andrews Air Force Base restored it in 1975 to represent an aircraft of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.
Donated by the Exchange Club in Memory of Kellis Forbes.
Curtiss Aircraft Company
Country of Origin:
United States of America
All round: 330 x 970cm, 2686kg, 1140cm (10ft 9 15/16in. x 31ft 9 7/8in., 5921.6lb., 37ft four 13/16in.)
Single engine, single seat, fighter aircraft.
Regardless of whether it was the Tomahawk, Warhawk, or Kittyhawk, the Curtiss P-40 was a profitable and versatile fighter aircraft throughout the initial half of Planet War II. The shark-mouthed Tomahawks that Common Claire Chennault led against the Japanese remain among the most well-liked airplanes of the war. In the Phillipines, Lt. Boyd D. Wagner became the initial American ace of Planet War II whilst flying a P-40E when he shot down six Japanese aircraft for the duration of mid-December 1941. P-40s have been initial-line Army Air Corps fighters at the start of the war but they soon gave way to more advanced designs such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and the Lockheed P-38 Lightning (see NASM collection for both aircraft). The P-40 is not ranked among the best overall fighters of the war but it was a rugged, powerful design and style available in huge numbers early in the war when America and her allies urgently essential them. The P-40 remained in production from 1939 to the finish of 1944 and a total of 13, 737 were built.
Design and style engineer Dr. Donovan R. Berlin layed the foundation for the P-40 in 1935 when he designed the agile, but lightly-armed, P-36 fighter equipped with a radial, air-cooled engine. The Curtiss-Wright Corporation won a production contract for 210 P-36 airplanes in 1937-the largest Army airplane contract awarded because World War I. Worldwide, fighter aircraft designs matured swiftly during the late 1930s and it was soon apparent that the P-36 was no match for newer European styles. Higher altitude performance in particular became a priceless commodity. Berlin attempted to enhance the P-36 by redesigning it in to accommodate a turbo-supercharged Allison V-1710-11 inline, liquid-cooled engine. The new aircraft was designated the XP-37 but proved unpopular with pilots. The turbo-supercharger was not trustworthy and Berlin had placed the cockpit as well far back on the fuselage, restricting the view to the front of the fighter. Nonetheless, when the engine was not giving trouble, the more-streamlined XP-37 was considerably more rapidly than the P-36.
Curtiss tried once again in 1938. Berlin had modified an additional P-36 with a new Allison V-1710-19 engine. It was designated the XP-40 and initial flew on October 14, 1938. The XP-40 looked promising and Curtiss presented it to Army Air Corps leaders who evaluated the airplane at Wright Field, Ohio, in 1939, along with numerous other fighter proposals. The P-40 won the competitors, soon after some modifications, and Curtiss received an order for 540. At this time, the armament package consisted of two .50 caliber machine guns in the fuselage and 4 .30 caliber machine guns in the wings.
Right after production started in March 1940, France ordered 140 P-40s but the British took delivery of these airplanes when Paris surrendered. The British named the aircraft Tomahawks but located they performed poorly in higher-altitude combat over northern Europe and relegated them to low-altitude operations in North Africa. The Russians purchased more than two,000 P-40s but details of their operational history remain obscure.
When the United States declared war, P-40s equipped a lot of of the Army Air Corps’s front line fighter units. The plucky fighter sooner or later saw combat in almost every single theater of operations being the most effective in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater. Of all the CBI groups that gained the most notoriety of the entire war, and remains to this day synonymous with the P-40, is the American Volunteer Group (AVG) or the Flying Tigers. The unit was organized after the Chinese gave former U. S. Army Air Corps Captain Claire Lee Chennault practically 9 million dollars in 1940 to get aircraft and recruit pilots to fly against the Japanese. Chennault’s most essential assistance within the Chinese government came from Madam Chiang Kai-shek, a Lt. Colonel in the Chinese Air Force and for a time, the service’s all round commander.
The income from China diverted an order placed by the British Royal Air Force for one hundred Curtiss-Wright P-40B Tomahawks but buying airplanes was only one crucial step in making a fighting air unit. Trained pilots were required, and speedily, as tensions across the Pacific escalated. On April 15, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt quietly signed an Executive Order permitting Chennault to recruit directly from the ranks of American military reserve pilots. Within a few months, 350 flyers joined from pursuit (fighter), bomber, and patrol squadrons. In all, about half the pilots in the Flying Tigers came from the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps while the Army Air Corps supplied one particular-third. Factory test pilots at Bell, Consolidated, and other businesses, and industrial airline pilots, filled the remaining slots.
The Flying Tigers flew their very first mission on December 20. The unit’s name was derived from the ferocious fangs and teeth painted on the nose of AVG P-40s at either side of the distinctive, big radiator air intake. The notion is said to originate from photos in a magazine that showed Royal Air Force Tomahawks of No. 112 Squadron, operating in the western desert of North Africa, adorned with fangs and teeth painted around their air intakes. The Flying Tigers had been the very first actual opposition the Japanese military encountered. In less than 7 months of action, AVG pilots destroyed about 115 Japanese aircraft and lost only 11 planes in air-to-air combat. The AVG disbanded on July 4, 1942, and its assets, such as a few pilots, became a part of the U. S. Army Air Forces (AAF) 23rd Fighter Group in the newly activated 14th Air Force. Chennault, now a Brigadier Common, assumed command of the 14th AF and by war’s end, the 23rd was 1 of the highest-scoring Army fighter groups.
As wartime experience in the P-40 mounted, Curtiss made many modifications. Engineers added armor plate, much better self-sealing fuel tanks, and more effective engines. They modified the cockpit to improve visibility and changed the armament package to six, wing-mounted, .50 caliber machine guns. The P-40E Kittyhawk was the initial model with this gun package and it entered service in time to serve in the AVG. The last model created in quantity was the P-40N, the lightest P-40 built in quantity, and considerably faster than preceding models. Curtiss built a single P-40Q. It was the quickest P-40 to fly (679 kph/422 mph) but it could not match the performance of the P-47 Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang so Curtiss ended development of the P-40 series with this model. In addition to the AAF, numerous Allied nations bought and flew P-40s which includes England, France, China, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and Turkey.
The Smithsonian P-40E did not serve in the U. S. military. Curtiss-Wright built it in Buffalo, New York, as Model 87-A3 and delivered it to Canada as a Kittyhawk IA on March 11, 1941. It served in No. 111 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). When the Japanese navy moved to attack Midway, they sent a diversionary battle group to menace the Aleutian Islands. Canada moved No. 111 Squadron to Alaska to support defend the region. After the Japanese threat diminished, the unit returned to Canada and at some point transferred to England without its P-40s. The RCAF declared the NASM Kittyhawk IA surplus on July 27, 1946, and the aircraft ultimately returned to the United States. It had many owners prior to ending up with the Explorer Scouts youth group in Meridian, Mississippi. Throughout the early 1960s, the Smithsonian started looking for a P-40 with a documented history of service in the AVG but found none. In 1964, the Exchange Club in Meridian donated the Kittyhawk IA to the National Aeronautical Collection, in memory of Mr. Kellis Forbes, a nearby man devoted to Boys Club activities. A U. S. Air Force Reserve crew airlifted the fighter to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, on March 13, 1964. Andrews personnel restored the airplane in 1975 and painted it to represent an aircraft of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 23rd Fighter Group, 14th Air Force.
• • •
Quoting from Wikipedia | Curtiss P-40 Warhawk:
The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was an American single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft that very first flew in 1938. It was employed by the air forces of 28 nations, like these of most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in front line service till the finish of the war. It was the third most-created American fighter, soon after the P-51 and P-47 by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation‘s main production facility at Buffalo, New York.
The P-40 design and style was a modification of the prior Curtiss P-36 this reduced improvement time and enabled a speedy entry into production and operational service.
Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps adopted for all models, creating it the official name in the United States for all P-40s. The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.
The P-40’s lack of a two-stage supercharger created it inferior to Luftwaffe fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 or the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in high-altitude combat and it was rarely utilised in operations in Northwest Europe. Amongst 1941 and 1944, however, the P-40 played a critical function with Allied air forces in three main theaters: North Africa, the Southwest Pacific and China. It also had a important role in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Alaska and Italy. The P-40’s functionality at high altitudes was not as crucial in these theaters, exactly where it served as an air superiority fighter, bomber escort and fighter bomber.
P-40s first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force (DAF) in the Middle East and North African campaigns, during June 1941. The Royal Air Force‘s No. 112 Squadron was amongst the very first to operate Tomahawks, in North Africa, and the unit was the initial to feature the "shark mouth" logo, copying comparable markings on some Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110 twin-engine fighters. [N 1]
Despite the fact that it gained a post-war reputation as a mediocre design, suitable only for close air help, much more current study like scrutiny of the records of individual Allied squadrons indicates that the P-40 performed surprisingly well as an air superiority fighter, at instances suffering serious losses, but also taking a quite heavy toll on enemy aircraft. The P-40 offered the added advantage of low cost, which kept it in production as a ground-attack fighter extended following it was obsolete in the air superiority role.
As of 2008, 19 P-40s have been airworthy.
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Rockwell International Corporation
Country of Origin:
United States of America
All round: 57 ft. tall x 122 ft. lengthy x 78 ft. wing span, 150,000 lb.
(1737.36 x 3718.57 x 2377.44cm, 68039.6kg)
Aluminum airframe and body with some fiberglass features payload bay doors are graphite epoxy composite thermal tiles are simulated (polyurethane foam) except for test samples of actual tiles and thermal blankets.
The first Space Shuttle orbiter, "Enterprise," is a complete-scale test vehicle employed for flights in the atmosphere and tests on the ground it is not equipped for spaceflight. Though the airframe and flight manage components are like those of the Shuttles flown in space, this car has no propulsion method and only simulated thermal tiles since these attributes had been not needed for atmospheric and ground tests. "Enterprise" was rolled out at Rockwell International’s assembly facility in Palmdale, California, in 1976. In 1977, it entered service for a nine-month-extended method-and-landing test flight plan. Thereafter it was employed for vibration tests and fit checks at NASA centers, and it also appeared in the 1983 Paris Air Show and the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. In 1985, NASA transferred "Enterprise" to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.
Transferred from National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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