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CURTISS P-40

Posted 2/4/2011 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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Curtiss P-40
Curtiss P-40 of the 20th Pursuit Group. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The P-40, developed from the P-36, was America's foremost fighter in service when World War II began. P-40s engaged Japanese aircraft during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the invasion of the Philippines in December 1941. They also were flown in China early in 1942 by the famed Flying Tigers and in North Africa in 1943 by the first AAF all-black unit, the 99th Fighter Squadron.

The P-40 served in numerous combat areas -- the Aleutian Islands, Italy, the Middle East, the Far East, the Southwest Pacific and some were sent to Russia. Though often outclassed by its adversaries in speed, maneuverability and rate of climb, the P-40 earned a reputation in battle for extreme ruggedness. At the end of the P-40's brilliant career, more than 14,000 had been produced for service in the air forces of 28 nations, of which 2,320 were of the E series.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force has a P-40E on display.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
XP-40 1 (cv) 10th P-36A with engine change
P-40 200 Improved XP-40; 524 ordered
P-40A 0 Designation not assigned
P-40B 131 Improved P-40; arm. pl.; two .30-cal. mgs.
P-40C 193 Improved P-40B; self-sealing fuel tanks
P-40D 22 Modified fuselage; four .50-cal. mgs.
P-40E 2,320 Improved P-40D; six .50-cal. mgs.
XP-40F 1 (cv) P-40D with Rolls-Royce engine
YP-40F 1 (cv) Mod. of third P-40F built
P-40F 1,311 Improved P-40E; engine change
P-40G 1 (cv) Mod. of 66th P-40; E wings
P-40H 0 Designation not assigned
P-40J 0 Improved P-40E with turbo (canceled)
XP-40K 1 (cv) P-40K-10 with V-1650 engine
P-40K 1,300 Improved P-40E with engine change
P-40L 700 Improved P-40F
P-40M 600 Improved P-40K-20
P-40N-1-15 1,977 Improved P-40E; four .50-cal. mgs.
P-40N-20-35 3,022 Improved P-40N-1-15; engine change
P-40N-40-CU 220 Last production P-40; 9,000 canceled
P-40P 0 Designation not assigned
XP-40Q 1 Modified P-40N; four-blade propeller
P-40R 300 (cv) Modified F and L models; engine change


TECHNICAL NOTES (P-40E):
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns; 700 lbs. of bombs externally
Engine: Allison V-1710 of 1,150 hp
Maximum speed: 362 mph
Cruising speed: 235 mph
Range: 850 miles
Service ceiling: 30,000 ft.
Span: 37 ft. 4 in.
Length: 31 ft. 9 in.
Height: 12 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 9,100 lbs. loaded

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