Curtiss P-40 'Kittyhawk I'

  Base model:P-40
  Nickname:Kittyhawk I
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1925-1947
  Basic role:Pursuit

  Length: 31' 9" 9.6 m
  Wingspan: 37' 4" 11.3 m

  No. of Engines: 1
  Powerplant: Allison V-1710-33
  Horsepower (each): 1040

  Max Speed: 357 mph 574 km/h 310 kt

Known serial numbers
39-156 / 39-289, 39-290 / 39-679, 40-292 / 40-357

Examples of this type may be found at
Air Power Park and MuseumHamptonVirginia
March Field Air MuseumRiversideCalifornia

P-40 on display

March Field Museum


Recent comments by our visitors
 Kristin Ann High
 Austin, TX
Concerning nose-mounted versus wing-mounted weapons. While the advantages in rate-of-fire for wing-mounted guns could be substantial---particularly for American-manufactured weapons (20-30%)---the drawbacks were in dispersion and accuracy. The weight of fire---upon which American pursuit aircraft relied for damage---diminished very rapidly as range increased, and accuracy was rather poor, especially for pilots who were not particularly good shots (most pilots), but at close range, the dispersion actually worked for such pilots, helping them achieve hits.

Nose mounted guns obviated both of these problems, but faced their own challenges. Space was often at a premium in a single-engined fighter's nose, which limited the number of weapons and their ammunition supply. The heavier the weapon, the worse both restrictions became. The Germans, with their superb synchronisation gear (about a 10% loss in RoF) choose nose-mounted weapons. The Americans and British, wing-mounted weapons. But when the aircraft's configuration made it possible, all Air Forces loaded up the nose---as in the P-38, Beaufighter, Bf.110, and the late-war Jets.
10/10/2012 @ 12:09 [ref: 67295]
 David Lee
 Chattanooga, TN
I have always Loved the P-40E." It is one of the most under rated aircraft of WW11. But it was a tuff and reliable plane. The men that flew them in the A.V.G. Where the best of the best and General Chanault was never givin credit because of stupid poloticains, I wish I could go and be taken up in one. David Lee Hill was a great pilot. If anyone knows where there our sites on how to find and restore one. e-mail me It has been my dream as a child to get one and enter the Conferderate Airforce to fly around airshows and tell thier history. David Lee
10/05/2009 @ 05:32 [ref: 25150]
 Clay Boutin
 Ontario, CA
I went to the 2009 Planes of Fame air show in Chino California. I have gone to several air shows in the S. California area in past years but this is the first time I had a professional camera and was able to get some great shots of the beautiful aircrafts that were at the show. I will be posting pictures of an F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat, B-25 Mitchell, MiG-15, F86-F Sabre and a P-40 Warhawk. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
06/11/2009 @ 21:59 [ref: 24231]
 Dean Seaman
 , WA
In response to Roger Hurst's question, the device you ask about is commonly known as an "Interrupter gear".
It was the invention of Anthony Fokker during WWI.
Basically, its a series of linkages that connect the guns firing mechanisms to a cam that is driven off the engine's crankshaft and timed to propeller blades.
As each blade passes in front of the guns, the interrupter disconnects the firing mechanism, preventing them from firing, until the blade has cleared.
By WWII, airplane manufacturing techniques had progressed to the point that this was really unneccessary, since the wings were much stronger and larger, thus being able to house a series of guns and thus, would clear the prop by their positioning.
The P-40 eventually moved from 2 guns in the nose to 6 guns in the wings.
03/23/2008 @ 03:01 [ref: 20233]
 Hurst, TX
I don't know much about the P40 so I have a question about it. With the .50 cal machine guns mounted in the nose of the plane. What was the design to keep the .50 cal from shooting into the propeller?

Thanks for any response.

03/09/2007 @ 18:17 [ref: 15835]
 Visitor to March Field Museum
 , CA
The fiberglass replica of a P-40 on a post was on loan to the March Field Museum for about ten years, but it was taken back by the owner around 2003(?). In any case, it is no longer at the March Field Museum. - 7 February 2007
02/07/2007 @ 14:16 [ref: 15449]
 , SC
I always marvel at how some WWII pilots called the P-40 (or even the P-47!!) a dog. Now, I know the P-51 was a great airplane, but let's face it- below 15,000 feet a P-40 with a good pilot could eat a P-51's lunch. Even Saburo Sakai, one of Japan's greatest Zero aces admitted that the P-40 was one of the Zero's most dangerous adversaries in the Pacific War. Robert Dehaven (49th Fighter Group) liked it better than the P-38 (he had more air to air kills in a P-40 than almost any other allied pilot). It had an excellent roll rate, especially as it picked up airspeed. It could turn inside of the P-51, Bf-109, FW-190, for that matter almost every plane but a Zero or an Oscar. I love to hear what pilots think of it after having flown in it (like the late Jeff Ethell) who couldn't believe what a sweet aircraft it is/was. And Jeff Ethell was confirmed P-38 enthusiast. We were lucky to have had P-40s at the start of WWII. Just think if the
USAAF had had to fight with P-43, P-35s or P-26s! Even the Curtiss P-36 Hawk was better than those!! Come to think of it, the P-36 was another sweet aircraft! Enjoy.
03/29/2004 @ 17:50 [ref: 7093]
 p-38/p-40 fan
 , MA
Oh, Hedy Lamar is a beautiful gal,
and Madeleine Carroll is too,
but you'l find if you query, a different theory
amonsgt any bomber crew
For the loveliest thing of which one could sing
(this side of the Pearly Gates)
Is no blonde or brunette of the Hollywood set
But an escort of p-38's

Yes in the days that have passed, when the tables were massed
With glasses of scotch and champagne
Yes it's true that the sight was once a thing to delight
Us, intent on feeling no pain.
But no longer the same, nowadays, in this game
When we head north from the Messina Straits
Take the sparkling wine- every time just make mine an escort of P-38's

Byron, Shelly, Keats run a dozen dead heats
Describing the view from the hills,
of the valleys in May when the winds gently sway
In the airs a different story;
We sweat out our track through fighter and flak
We're willing to split p the glory
Well, they wouldn't reject us so Heaven pretect us
and, until all the shooting abates,
Give us the courage to fight'em- and one other small item,
An escort of P-38's
by Anonymous bomber radioman
08/28/2001 @ 16:46 [ref: 3050]
 No Name
 , MA
Most people who I have met say that the AVG or more commonly known as the "Flying Tigers" out 'flew' the enemy. They think that the "Tigers" would fly in there enemy formations and shoot the enemy down in dogfights. They also think that the Flying Tigers fought against the formadable A6M "Zero" but the flew the unlike the Japanese Navy the army still was using the A5M and other older oblsolete fighters. Still the AVG only attacked when they had a hight advantage so they could dive then using the speed gained in the dive to escape. In any account the P-40 showed itself to be a very capable fighter for many other groups like the Americans in North Africa whose modo was "Shoot the bastard".
08/18/2001 @ 14:12 [ref: 2949]
 P Masell
 , OH
I always liked the Warhawk even though many people say it was a terrible fighter. They say it was slow, it was compared to later U.S. and German fighters. But the fact that the P-40 was used in combat since 1940 and almost matched Spitfires and 109s and surpassing the Zero. Critics also claim it had poor manueverbility because the Zero outmatched it there, but they never mentioned that the Zero outmatched all allied fighters in that area! Oh, and by the way the Warhawk could out manuever the P-51. Another misconseption is that it was obsolete. It was when the 51 and such came out, but everyone says it was when it came out. Why? Because of its airframe which was based of the P-36. Of course they say this even though it was still used affectively (being very sturdy). A thing I really hate is when they dog the P-40, claiming it's obsolete and the only thing positive they say is it was rugged and durable. Another thing I don't get is why people say the P-40 was bad even though it had one of the best records of any fighter of the war. The AVG (American Volunteer Group) 297 enemies confirmed, 153 probable, 12 losses to fighters. CATF (China Air Task Force) 149 kills, 86 probable, 16 losses. 325FG, 135 kills (96 were 109s), 17 losses. Royal New Zealand Air Force, 99 kills, 14 probables, 20 losses. The records are clear, the P-40 Warhawk was a great fighter and not to mention a exellent ground-attacker.

01/13/2001 @ 03:38 [ref: 1379]


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