Published April 20, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-36A Hawk at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-36A Hawk diorama with a portrayal of Lt. Phillip Rasmussen in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The P-36, developed from the Curtiss Hawk Model 75 originally designed for France, was first produced for the US Army Air Corps in 1938. The Air Corps obtained 243 P-36s, including 30 P-36G export models seized by the US 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, Alabama, in April 1959. It is painted to represent the P-36A flown by Lt Philip Rasmussen during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
Armament: Two .30-cal. or two .50-cal. machine guns
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1830 of 1,050 hp
Maximum speed: 313 mph
Range: 830 miles
Ceiling: 32,700 ft
Weight: 5,650 lbs loaded
Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)