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Curtiss P-40E Warhawk

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The P-40 was the United States' best fighter available in large numbers when World War II began. P-40s engaged Japanese aircraft at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines in December 1941. They also served with the famed Flying Tigers in China in 1942, and in North Africa in 1943 with the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first African American U.S. fighter unit.

The solid, reliable Warhawk was used in many combat areas -- the Aleutian Islands, Italy, the Middle East, the Far East, the Southwest Pacific and some were sent to Russia. Though often slower and less maneuverable than its adversaries, the P-40 earned a reputation in battle for extreme ruggedness. It served throughout the war but was eclipsed by more capable aircraft. More than 14,000 P-40s were built, and they served in the air forces of 28 nations.

The aircraft on display is a Kittyhawk (the export version of the P-40E built for the RAF). It is painted to represent the aircraft flown by then-Col. Bruce Holloway, a pilot in both the Flying Tigers and its successor Army Air Forces unit, the 23rd Fighter Group. This P-40 was obtained from Charles Doyle, Rosemount, Minn.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
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
Ceiling: 30,000 ft.
Span: 37 ft. 4 in.
Length: 31 ft. 9 in.
Height: 12 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 9,100 lbs. loaded

Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.

 

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Allison V-1710 Engine
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