Easy Built Models FF-56 Curtiss Tomahawk P-40
Class: Scale flyer
Building Skill / Flying Skill: Experienced / Experienced
Remembered as the "best second choice," the P-40 (Tomahawk) was a sturdy and durable monoplane fighter. It was the first American single-seat fighter to be mass produced. Known also as the Kitty Hawk, it was introduced in 1938 at a time when it was sorely needed. Those diverted to the Royal Air Force were known as Tomahawks. Used early in WWII by the British and US, the P-40 was inadequate against the German Bf 109 but it was all that was available at the time. They were also used widely against the Japanese starting in 1942. The most famous of these were a volunteer group known as the US Flying Tigers who flew on behalf of China against the Japanese.
P-40C (Hawk 81A-2)
Unit: 74th FS, 23rd FG, 14th AF, USAAF
Kunling, China, September 1942. At the time, the AVG had gone back to the ranks of the US Air Force.
Source: "Curtiss P-40 from 1939 to 1945" by Anis Elbied and Daniel Laurelut, Planes and Pilots, Histoire & Collections 2002. ISBN: 2-913903-47-9
Kit FF-56 Curtiss Tomahawk is a 1/9 scale, flying model that uses the Box and Former method of construction. This jumbo model is very popular for conversion to electric or gas powered flight. Pre-1942 design, eligible for Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) contests.
This free flight kit contains a full-size rolled plan, building instructions, hand-picked competition weight printed balsa and balsa stripwood, clear plastic for the windshield, wheels, landing gear wire, 12" E-B propeller, EBM thrust button, and Easy Built Lite olive, light sky blue, and evergreen tissue. You will need a building board, hobby knife, fine sandpaper, and glue.
Unit: 9th FS, 49th FG, 5th AF, USAAF
Pilot - 1st LT.John D.Landers, early 1942.
Landers Dave John
Artist: (c) Mikhail Bykov
Source: Aviamaster 2000, No.6
The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was an American single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in front line service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter, after the P-51 and P-47; by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation's main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.
Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps adopted for all models, making it the official name in the United States for all P-40s. The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.
Unit: 64th FS, 57th FG, USAAF
No additional information
Artist: (c) Pierre-Andre Tilley
Source: Aero Journal No.48, (c) Aero-Editions, April-May 2006
P-40s first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns, during June 1941. No. 112 Squadron Royal Air Force, was among the first to operate Tomahawks in North Africa and the unit was the first Allied military aviation unit to feature the "shark mouth" logo, copying similar markings on some Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110 twin-engine fighters.
The P-40's lack of a two-stage supercharger made it inferior to Luftwaffe fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 or the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in high-altitude combat and it was rarely used in operations in Northwest Europe. Between 1941 and 1944, 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's performance at high altitudes was not as important in those theaters, where it served as an air superiority fighter, bomber escort and fighter bomber. Although it gained a post-war reputation as a mediocre design, suitable only for close air support, recent research including scrutiny of the records of individual Allied squadrons, indicates that the P-40 performed surprisingly well as an air superiority fighter, at times suffering severe losses but also taking a very heavy toll of enemy aircraft. 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. In 2008, 29 P-40s were airworthy.
Unit: 86th FS, 79th FG, 9th AF, USAAF
Africa, circa 1943.
Source: "P-40 Warhawk" Part.2, in Detail & Scale No.62 (8262); (c) 1999 by Detail & Scale, Inc. ISBN: 1-888974-15-X