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In Memoriam

Klaas Willem Jonker
(Wilko)
† April 30, 2018

On Monday 30 April 2018, Wilko Jonker died after a long illness at the age of 58. He leaves behind a wife and two children. The Dutch military aviation and plastic modeling were his hobby and on this website he shared all the knowledge he has collected over the years. His hobby has been able to distract him from the persistent disease in his body until the last week of his life. The contacts with other hobbyists were a major support for him.

This website will be maintained by different people for as long as possible, so that other enthusiasts can continue to benefit from extensive content.

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Tuesday, 23 July 2019 17:38

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk & Kittyhawk

History

A constructor, D.R. Berlin, originating from Northrop was assigned by Curtiss to the Curtis H-75 project. This project was based upon USAAC specifications.

In the end Seversky won the contract, but Curtiss produced three aircraft as YP-36. In June 1937 an order for 200 aircraft followed and also France ordered 200 examples of the Curtiss P-36. Several other countries also ordered the Curtiss Hawk II, as did the Dutch East Indies Government.

The design was used to develop an aircraft which was faster than 300 mph and equipped with the Allison turbo compressed line engine and a redesigned fuselage.

The USAAC ordered an exampled for testing purposes under the designation XP-37. The aircraft looked very fast and had the looks of a racing aircraft rather than a fighter, especial because of the large Allison V1710 engine. The maximum speed of the XP-37 was 340 mph.

The long nose obstructed the view forward seriously, especially because of the turbocharger which took a lot of space.

Berlin proposed adjusting the P-36A fuselage with an adjusted Allison V1710 engine rated 1050 hp. The expected performance of this new design resulted in an order of the USAAC for one XP-40.

The XP-40 was successful, though the performance was somewhat disappointing. Further aerodynamic refinements and a stronger Allison V1710-35 engine improved the performance in such a way resulted in in pre-orders for the Curtiss P-40.

Versions.

Curtiss XP-40:
Curtiss 75P: the prototype of the P-40; a fuselage of a P-36A equipped with the new  Allison V-1710-19 engine. Made its first flight in October 1938.
Curtiss P-40:
First production version, Curtiss model 81A-1. Circa 200 examples built for the USAAC. No self sealing fuel tanks and armour; two machine guns in the nose  plus two in the wings; circa 140 examples were assigned to France,but this series was completely taken over by the British after the invasion of France and, equipped with British armament ().303 inch machine guns) used by the RAF under the designation Tomahawk I.
Curtiss P-40A:
a P-40, equipped with a camera in the aft fuselage.
Curtiss P-40B:
Curtiss H-81A-2; 110 examples for the RAF designated Tomahawk IIA; equipped with four machine guns in de wings; armor and self sealing fuel tanks.  The USAAC ordered 131 examples, (Curtiss H81-B).
Curtiss >P-40C:
930 examples for the RAF designated as Tomahawk IIB; as P-40B plus provision for droptank of bomb under the fuselage; self sealing fuel tanks. The USAAC received 193 examples.
Curtiss P-40D:
Equipped with a new, more powerful Allison V-171039 engine; revised fuselage; new designed canopy and cockpit; armament in the nose was moved to the wing; RAF ordered  50 examples as Kittyhawk I (Curtiss H-87); the USAAC ordered  23 examples designated as P-40D (Curtiss 87-A2)
Curtiss P-40E:
Virtual identical to the P-40D, but with six machine guns in the wing. The Raf received 1500 examples as Kittyhawk IA (Curtis 87-A3 and A4); the USAF ordered 820 examples (Curtiss 87-B2) designated as P-40E-1.
Curtiss P-40F:
This version was equipped with a Packard built Merlin V-1650-1 rated 1300 hp (in the start and 1120 hp at 18500 feet). The nose section was revised; The first 699 aircraft had the same fuselage as the P-40E; The RAF received an unknown number as Kittyhawk II.
  • P-40F-5 : because of problems with the stability the tail section was lengthened with 20 inch. 122 examples built. [USAAF serials: 41-14300 - 41-14422]
  • P-40F-10: manual adjustment of colling was replaced by an elecrtonically adjusted system; 177 examples built [USAAF serials: 41-14423- - 41-14599]
  • P-40F-15: 200 examples with modifications for use in Alaska [USAAF serials:41-19733 - 41-19932]
  • P-40F-20: 112 examples with an adjustable oxygen provision. [USAAF serials: 41-19933 - 41-20044]
Curtiss P-40G:
43 P-40s equipped with the wing of the Tomahawk Mk IIA, with four machine guns. 16 examples went to the Soviet Union; the remaining example to the USAAF.
Curtiss P-40K:
1300 examples with a mor powerful Allison V-1710-73 engine rated 1350 hp at take off. The first 800 aircraft (block 1 and block 5) had the same fuselage as the P-40E; later production version had an enlarged tail fin to improve stability. About 192 examples went to the RAF as Kittyhawk III.
Curtiss P-40L:
A slimmed version of the P-40F to improve the performance. Factory designation Curtiss model H-87B-3. 700 examples built, of which 100 examples went to the RAF as Kittyhawk II.
Curtiss P-40M:
Further development of the P-40K with a Allison V-1710 F20R rated 1200 hp at take-off. Further a perforated panel was added to improve the cowling of the engine. 600 examples built, 94 examples went to the RAF, as Kittyhawk II.
Curtiss P-40N:
Last production version, Curtis model H87V en 87W, over 5500 examples built. 
  • P-40N-1: equipped with  a Allison V-1710-81 engine and weight saving measures; 122 gallon internal fuel ; four .50 machine guns in the wing. About 400  examples built. [USAF serials: 42-104429 - 42-104828]
  • P-40N-5 : circa 1100 examples built; revised canopy; frame-less wind screen; six .50 machine guns in the wing; provision for bombs under the wing . [USAF serials: 42-104829 - 42-105928.]
  • P-40N-10: provisions for use in cold areas; four machine guns in the wing; about 100 examples built [USAF serials: 42-105929 - 42-106028.]
  • P-40N-15: about 375 examples with battery repositioned; six machine guns in the wing and enlarged internal fuel capacity. [USAF serials: 42-106029 - 42-106405]
  • P-40N-20: Over 200 examples with an Allison V-1710-99 engine (in fact a V-1710-81 with automatic engine control. [USAF serials: 42-106406 - 42-106428 en 43-22752 - 43-24251 ]
  • P-40N-25: 500 examples as P-40N-20 with a revised instrument panel and non-metal self-sealing fuel tanks.  [USAF-serials: 43-24252 - 43-24751]
  • P-40N-30: Identical to P-40N-25, but with renewed electronic equipment and flaps. [USAF-serials: 44-7001 - 44-7500]
  • P-40N-35: Version with revised carburettor, instruments such as radio and ADF equipment and lights. [USAF serials: 44-7501 - 44-8000]
  • P-40N-40: Last version of the P-40; equipped with an Allison V-1710--115 engine rated 1300 hp. Further metal ailerons; improved self sealing fuel tanks; new radio an oxygen equipment and flame dampening exhausts . [USAF serials: 44-47749 - 44-47968 ]

 

Technical Information Curtiss P-40E
Dimensions:
Length: 9,66 m Wing span 11,38 m
Height: 3,76 m Wing area: 21,92 m2
Weights:
Empty weight: 2880 kg Max. start weight: 4000 kg
Performance:
Max. speed: 580 km/hr Cruising speed: 435 km/hr
Range: 1100 km Service ceiling: 8800 m
Miscellaneous:
Engine type: One Allison V-1710-39 rated 1150 hp
Crew: One pilot
Armament: Six .50 inch machine guns plus 680 kg bombs.

 

Technical Information Curtiss P-40N
Dimensions:
Length: 10,2 m Wing span 11,42 m
Height: 3,76 m Wing area: 21,95 m2
Weights:
Empty weight: 2724 kg Max. start weight: 4018 kg
Performance:
Max. speed: 609 km/hr Cruising speed: - km/u
Range: 3060 km (with extra tanks) Service ceiling: 11 630 m
Miscellaneous:
Engine type: One Allison V-1710-82 rated 1200 hp
Crew: One pilot
Armament: Six .50 inch machine guns plus 680 kg bombs.