The P-35, a forerunner of the Republic P-47, was the U.S. Army Air Corps' (USAAC) first production single-seat, all-metal pursuit plane with retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit. The USAAC accepted 76 P-35s in 1937-1938, and assigned all but one of them to the 1st Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field, Mich.
Sweden also purchased 60 improved aircraft (designated EP-106), but the United States diverted a second order for 60 to the USAAC in 1940 and assigned them to the 17th and 20th Pursuit Squadrons in the Philippines. These aircraft, redesignated P-35As, were all lost in action early in the war. Ironically, the Japanese Navy ordered 20 two-seat versions of the P-35 in 1938, and these became the only American-built planes used operationally by the Japanese during World War II.
The aircraft on display, the only known surviving P-35, served with the 94th Pursuit Squadron, 1st Pursuit Group. The aircraft was restored by the 133rd Tactical Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard, with assistance from students of the Minneapolis Vocational Institute. It is marked as the P-35A flown by the 17th Pursuit Squadron commander, 1st Lt. Buzz Wagner, in the Philippines in the spring of 1941.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: One .50-cal. and one .30-cal. fuselage mounted machine gun plus 320 lbs. of bombs Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1830 of 850 hp Maximum speed: 280 mph Cruising speed: 260 mph Range: 625 miles Ceiling: 30,600 ft. Span: 36 ft. Length: 25 ft. 4 in. Height: 9 ft. 9 1/2 in. Weight: 5,600 lbs. maximum
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