Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Pursuit Fighter)

General Information

MAKE: Curtiss-Wright Corporation
NUMBER BUILT: 14,000
MISSION: Fighter
NICKNAME: Kittyhawk
Located in Hangar 37

Background

The aircraft in this exhibit is a replica of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, a very popular aircraft with production from 1938-1944. Nearly 14,000 were built for service in 28 countries. It was the foremost Army Air Force pursuit-fighter at the start of WWII and a workhorse throughout the war. The P-40 was easy to maintain, rugged, tolerant of unimproved airfields, and agile at high air speeds.

Our Warhawk’s paint scheme is identical to Lt. Ken Taylor’s P-40B model. The mannequin-pilot seated in the cockpit is wearing a formal tuxedo shirt, representing Ken Taylor’s attire on the morning of December 7, 1941.

Compared to the Zero, the Warkhawk is not as maneuverable, heavier (dives faster), better armed, and armored (pilot and engine protection). It was flown by American Volunteer Group (AVG), also known as the “Flying Tigers” in China as well as the in 1942 and 1943 by the 99th Fighter Squadron of the Tuskegee Airmen in North Africa.. Lieutenants Taylor and Welch’s acts of heroism are depicted in the 2001 Touchstone film Pearl Harbor starring Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett.

Characteristics

CONTRACTOR: Curtiss-Wright Corporation
DATE DEPLOYED: October 14, 1938
PROPULSION: One Allison V-1710-39 liquid-cooled V12 engine, 1,150 hp
(858 kW)
SPAN: 37 feet 4 inches
LENGTH: 31 feet 9 inches
HEIGHT: 12 feet 4 inches
WEIGHT: 9100 lb (loaded)
MAXIMUM SPEED: 362 mph
CRUISING SPEED: 270 mph
SERVICE CEILING: 29,000 feet
RANGE: 850 miles (1367.9 km)
CREW: 1 Pilot
ARMAMENT:Six .50 cal machine guns in the wings; 700 lbs external
bomb

Photos