coaledsweat wrote:P-40 Warhawk. Claire Chenault used them in China with the Flying Tigers. That one appears decked out in their favorite paint scheme.
The P-40 was the major fighter for the Army Air Corps at the beginning of World War II. Developed from the Curtiss P-36 series, more than 13,000 P-40s were built before production ended in 1944.
The P-40 served in the Aleutians, China, Australia, North America, and the air forces of twenty-eight allied nations including Great Britain, France, and Russia. Though outclassed by most German and Japanese fighters, its ruggedness and firepower allowed the Army Air Forces to hold the line until more advanced designs were produced. P-40s engaged the Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the invasion of the Philippines in December 1941. They were flown with great success by General Chennault's famed Flying Tigers in China.
In North Africa, they flew from the aircraft carrier USS Ranger to engage the Germans and were flown by the first black combat unit, the 99th Fighter Squadron. The P-40N was the final production version, almost half of all Warhawks built. The aircraft was lightened to improve performance; armor reduced, the forward fuel tank removed and lighter materials substituted. The fuselage behind the cockpit was cut down and replaced with a clear canopy to improve the pilot's visibility to the rear. With a more powerful version of the Allison engine, these changes made the P-40N the fastest of the series. A number of "N" models, including the aircraft on display, were modified into advanced trainers by adding a second cockpit behind the pilot. During the Second World War, the Warner Robins Air Technical Service Command provided logistic support and depot-level maintenance of all P-40 aircraft in Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, and Virginia. The aircraft on display was obtained by the Museum of Aviation in 1994 with help from the 653rd Combat Logistics Support Squadron (CLSS) and the Air Force Reserve. Restoration was done by the Museum staff, Middle Georgia Vo-Tech and the 653rd CLSS.