Curtiss P-40 - Snub-nosed Kittyhawks and Warhawks by Carl Molesworth, Adam Tooby, Richard Chasemore

By Carl Molesworth, Adam Tooby, Richard Chasemore

A more robust model of the Allison V-1710 engine gave upward push to the Curtiss H-87, which all started lifestyles in 1941 because the P-40D and featured a very redesigned fuselage. The shorter and deeper nostril of the recent fighter gave it a decidedly snub-nosed visual appeal in comparison to the sooner P-40 types. Curtiss persisted to tweak the H-87 for the following years within the look for larger functionality, however the final significant model, the P-40N, was once in basic terms marginally swifter than the 1st. within the method, Curtiss even attempted an engine swap to the Packard Merlin within the P-40F and L yet to no avail. What the overdue version P-40s lacked in velocity and repair ceiling, they traded for maneuverability, longevity and availability. Their area of interest turned fighter-bomber operations, they usually fought on fronts as assorted because the arctic wastes of the Aleutian Islands and Iceland, the steaming jungles of the South Pacific and the barren deserts of North Africa. P-40s have been a typical sight within the skies over Burma and China, Sicily and Italy, and western Russia in addition. by the point construction ceased in 1944, Curtiss had produced approximately 14,000 P-40s.

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Additional resources for Curtiss P-40 - Snub-nosed Kittyhawks and Warhawks

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At first light on October 24, 1942, some 230,000 men of the Eighth Army began moving forward in three distinct thrusts against the 107,000 Italian and German troops facing them. Above the front, creating an “umbrella” over the Allied troops and a hailstorm of bombs and bullets for the enemy, were massed formations of Desert Air Force bombers and fighters. No. 211 Group RAF boasted seven Kittyhawk squadrons and one Tomahawk squadron, plus three squadrons each of Spitfires, Hurricanes, and 57th FG P-40Fs.

Here we lived in the little town (Djombang) in some vacated Dutch houses, about three miles from the field. The Dutch assisted us in every way possible, furnishing guards on the field, food and medicine. Living conditions were not too bad … We flew many missions from Blimbing Field. In fact, a lot of us flew about 150 hours during the short stay there. At all times we were outnumbered at the least 10 to 1, but still we managed to get official credit for in excess of 65 victories [the currently accepted total is 49 – author] with only a loss of nine pilots killed or missing.

We had several hours to get acquainted with the cockpit, and as you sat on the ground, the wing was right under your parachute cushion. It felt as though you could reach out and touch the wingtips. The engine was long and rose up in front to block out all forward visibility. You were supposed to keep 1500 RPM at all times on the ground or the spark plugs were apt to foul. You had to taxi by S-ing along the taxi strip so you could see ahead, first on one side then on the other. On my first flight in it, I did a chandelle after a few preliminary maneuvers.

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