The Curtiss P-40 was obsolete at the outbreak of World War II, and despite continued improvements, never equaled the capabilities of its adversaries. But it had one priceless advantage: it was available and being efficiently mass-produced when needed most. It was an effective weapon when its strengths were leveraged: diving passes and rapid departure without engaging in a turning dogfight with more agile opponents. The U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Free French, South Africa, and Russia flew the Curtiss fighter, and it served in all theaters of operation. The most famous P-40 unit was undoubtedly the American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the "Flying Tigers," who had great success flying the type in China in early 1942.

Derived from the Curtiss P-36 series and first flown in 1938, the P-40 was kept in production until 1944, with nearly 14,000 of all models delivered. The British called it the Tomahawk (B and C models) and Kittyhawk (D and E models). The F through R versions were known as Warhawks in U.S. service. The N model had decreased fuel capacity and increased armor, along with other minor system changes, relative to its predecessors. It was armed with four .50 caliber machine guns and could carry one 500-pound and two 100-pound bombs.

The Museum's P-40N-30 may have the lowest flight time of any surviving warbird. It was flown directly from the Curtiss factory in Buffalo, NY, to storage near Tucson, Arizona in 1945, with only 60 hours of total flight time. It was later put on display in Griffith Park in Los Angeles for a number of years, until noted movie pilot Frank Tallman acquired it and loaned the fighter to the San Diego Aerospace Museum. Doug Champlin purchased the P-40 in 1972 and had it fully restored by Dick Martin at Carlsbad, California in 1979. The chosen markings are those of Colonel Phil Colman of the Chinese-American Composite Wing. The plane was named after "O'Reilly's Daughter," a popular Army Air Forces drinking song.

Serial Number:
44-4192
Registration:
NL10626 / 44-4192
Wingspan:
37.34ft
Length:
33ft
Wing Area:
236.00ft²
Empty Weight:
6,000lbs
Gross Weight:
8,850lbs
Maximum Speed:
378mph
Cruise Speed:
288mph
Power Plant:
Allison V-1710-81 12-cyclinder 1,360 hp
Range:
750miles

The Curtiss P-40 was obsolete at the outbreak of World War II, and despite continued improvements, never equaled the capabilities of its adversaries. But it had one priceless advantage: it was available and being efficiently mass-produced when needed most. It was an effective weapon when its strengths were leveraged: diving passes and rapid departure without engaging in a turning dogfight with more agile opponents. The U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Free French, South Africa, and Russia flew the Curtiss fighter, and it served in all theaters of operation. The most famous P-40 unit was undoubtedly the American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the "Flying Tigers," who had great success flying the type in China in early 1942.

Derived from the Curtiss P-36 series and first flown in 1938, the P-40 was kept in production until 1944, with nearly 14,000 of all models delivered. The British called it the Tomahawk (B and C models) and Kittyhawk (D and E models). The F through R versions were known as Warhawks in U.S. service. The N model had decreased fuel capacity and increased armor, along with other minor system changes, relative to its predecessors. It was armed with four .50 caliber machine guns and could carry one 500-pound and two 100-pound bombs.

The Museum's P-40N-30 may have the lowest flight time of any surviving warbird. It was flown directly from the Curtiss factory in Buffalo, NY, to storage near Tucson, Arizona in 1945, with only 60 hours of total flight time. It was later put on display in Griffith Park in Los Angeles for a number of years, until noted movie pilot Frank Tallman acquired it and loaned the fighter to the San Diego Aerospace Museum. Doug Champlin purchased the P-40 in 1972 and had it fully restored by Dick Martin at Carlsbad, California in 1979. The chosen markings are those of Colonel Phil Colman of the Chinese-American Composite Wing. The plane was named after "O'Reilly's Daughter," a popular Army Air Forces drinking song.

Serial Number:
44-4192
Registration:
NL10626 / 44-4192
Wingspan:
37.34ft
Length:
33ft
Wing Area:
236.00ft²
Empty Weight:
6,000lbs
Gross Weight:
8,850lbs
Maximum Speed:
378mph
Cruise Speed:
288mph
Power Plant:
Allison V-1710-81 12-cyclinder 1,360 hp
Range:
750miles