The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was a fighter aircraft in World War II, employed by the United Sates Army Air Corps. The P-40 was well known for its "shark's mouth" painted on the nose of the aircraft.
The P-40 is also known for being the aircraft used by "The Flying Tigers" or 1st American Volunteer Group, contracted by the Chinese to defend against the Japanese, slightly before the US entered the war. It was produced by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation between the years of 1939 and 1944. A total of 13,378 P-40's were built at a cost of almost 45,000 dollars each.
The P-40 utilized the Allison V-1710 liquid cooled V12. This particular power plant didn't have a 2 stage supercharger that made planes like the German's Folke-Wulf 190's, Messerschmitt BF 109's and Britain's Spitfire perform better at higher altitudes.The Curtiss P-40 saw most of its action in North Africa, China and the Pacific theaters, where its was more effective at ground attack.
The P-40 had a maximum speed of 360 mph, a rate of climb of 2,100 feet per minute and a service ceiling of 29,000 feet. The P-40 was armed with six Browning M2 .50 caliber machine guns and could carry a 1,000 lb bomb.