The P-60 series of aircraft were the last attempts by Curtiss to build a replacement for the P-40. Previous attempts included the XP-46 and XP-53. The Army Air Corps wanted a "Merlin"-powered aircraft, so the second XP-53 was modified for the new engine and re-designated XP-60. Because the V-1650 engine was in demand for production aircraft (e.g. P-51), the P-60 underwent many modifications to test different engines more readily available. First, the Allison V-1710-75 was substituted for the Packard in the XP-60A. Next, a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-53 radial engine was tried with a contra-rotating propeller on the XP-60C. An order for 500 P-60s (26 YP-60A and 474 P-60A) was canceled in June 1943, and Curtiss built 354 P-47Gs instead.
Improved XP-60 with eight .50-cal. mgs.
Service test A model; 26 canceled
Production A model; 473 canceled
Modified XP-60A with turbosupercharger
Modified XP-60A; contra-prop
Modified XP-60; engine change; four-blade prop.
Modified XP-60B; engine change; four-blade prop.
Modified P-60A; engine change; four-blade
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: None; later models designed for eight, six or four .50-cal. machine guns Engine:Packard V-1650-1 Merlin of 1,300 hp Maximum speed: 380 mph Span: 41 ft. 5 in. Length: 33 ft. 4 in. Height: 14 ft. 4 in. Weight: 7,010 lbs. empty/9,350 lbs. gross