In the mid-1930s, the Army Air Corps wanted a plane capable of matching the world's fastest pursuit aircraft -- British Hurricanes and Spitfires. When the Allison V-1710 inline engine became available, Curtiss designed an aircraft based on the P-36 for the new engine and guaranteed a top speed of 340 mph. The result was the XP-37, which featured two side-radiators mounted behind the engine and a cockpit well aft of the wing. The cockpit placement, which limited the pilot's forward view, combined with the poor performance of the turbo-supercharger, led to the cancellation of the project; although 13 YP-37 service test models were built around a lengthened fuselage before the project was terminated.
P-36 base mod. with inline V-1710
Service test aircraft
TECHNICAL NOTES (XP-37): Armament: One .30-cal. and one .50-cal. machine gun Engine: Turbo-supercharged Allison V-1710-11 of 1,000 hp at 20,000 ft. Maximum speed: 340 mph at 20,000 ft. Cruising speed: 304 mph Range: 485 miles Service ceiling: 35,000 ft. Span: 37 ft. 4 in. Length: 31 ft. 0 in. Height: 9 ft. 6 in. Weight: 5,272 lbs. empty/6,350 lbs. gross