The P-36, developed from the Curtiss Hawk Model 75 originally designed for France, was first produced for the Air Corps in 1938. The Army Air Corps obtained 243 P-46s, including 30 P-36G export models seized by the U.S. government in 1942 because of the German occupation of Norway.
Both France and England used the Hawk 75A in combat over Europe in 1939 and 1940, even though the airplane was obsolescent when compared to its major adversary, the German Messerschmitt Bf 109. During 1941, the Air Corps transferred 39 of its P-36s to Hawaii and 20 to Alaska. After World War II began, the outmoded P-36 soon was relegated to training and courier duties within the United States.
The airplane on display is the first P-36A delivered to the Air Corps. It was donated by Edward S. Perkins of Anniston, Ala., in April 1959. It is painted to represent the P-36A flown by Lt. Philip Rasmussen during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Two .30-cal. or two .50-cal. machine guns Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1830 of 1,050 hp Maximum speed: 313 mph Cruising speed: 250 mph Range: 830 miles Ceiling: 32,700 ft. Span: 37 ft. 4 in. Length: 28 ft. 6 in. Height: 8 ft. 5 in. Weight: 5,650 lbs. loaded
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