Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Demo

The New York Air Show will feature a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Demo from the American Airpower Museum in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the first flight of this World War II era fighter.   The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American World War II era ground attack fighter that first flew in 1938. Warhawk... View Article


The New York Air Show will feature a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Demo from the American Airpower Museum in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the first flight of this World War II era fighter.

 

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American World War II era ground attack fighter that first flew in 1938. Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps adopted for all models, making it the official name in the U.S. The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk and the name Kittyhawk from the P-40D and later. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk cutting development time plus enabling a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war.

 

The P-40 first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns, during June 1941. The Royal Air Force was the first to operate Tomahawks in North Africa and they were the first to feature the “shark mouth” logo. Between 1938 and 1944 there were 13,738 P-40’s built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s main production facilities at Buffalo, New York. It was the third most-produced American fighter of World War II, after the P-51 and P-47. The P-40 offered the additional advantage of low cost, which kept it in production as a ground-attack aircraft long after it was obsolete as a fighter.

 

The P-40 played a critical role with Allied air forces in three major theaters: North Africa, the Southwest Pacific, and China. It also had a significant role in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Alaska and Italy. The P-40 served as an air superiority fighter, bomber escort and fighter-bomber in all of these and performed surprisingly well as an air superiority fighter inflicting a very heavy toll on enemy aircraft. Based on war-time victory claims, over 200 Allied fighter pilots from 7 different nations became aces flying the P-40, with at least 20 double aces mostly in the North Africa, CBI, Pacific and Russian Front theaters.

 

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