Curtiss P-40B-C Warhawk and P-40CU - Tomahawk / Kittyhawk
National origin:- United States Role:- Fighter, Fighter-bomber Manufacturer:- Curtiss-Wright Corporation Location:- Buffalo, New York. Designer:- Don R. Berlin. First flight:- 14 October 1938 Retired Brazilian Air Force (1958) Introduction:- January 1944 Primary users:- United States Army Air Forces, Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, USSR Produced between 1939â€“1944:- 13,738 Unit cost:- USD $44,892 in 1944 Development:- Curtiss P-36 Hawk Variants:- Curtiss XP-46
The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was an American single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in front line service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter, after the P-51 and P-47; by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation's main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the 15th and 18th Pursuit Groups at Wheeler Field lost 62 P-40Bs on the ground and the 4th Pursuit Group based a Bellows Field lost 10 P-40Cs out of 12.
The Flying Tigers was set up by a forceful character, General Claire Lee Chennault, with the tacit approval of the American authorities in order to contain the Japanese advance in China and Bur-ma, and relieve Tchang Kai Tchek's nationalist troops, this air force was equipped with about a hundred British Tomahawk MkIIs worth 8.9m by the Chinese, flown by American volunteers, some of doubtful reputation, for 600 to 750 dollars a month, which was a real godsend even without the 500 dollars paid in gold for every Japanese plane brought down in aerial combat.
In six months' operations, the three squadrons 'Adam and Eve', 'Panda Bear'; and 'Hell's Angels' destroyed 286 planes in the air and 240 on the ground for the loss of only 16 planes (four in the air, six during ground attacks, three through accidents and three during air raids). In July 1942, the AVG (American Volunteer group) was incorporated into the 23rd Fighter group and carried on the war against the Japanese, but this time officially. It was the beginning of the Curtiss fighter's legend.
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