The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk first flew in 1938 as a modification of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk. Warhawk was the official U.S. designation while the name Tomahawk was used by the British Commonwealth and Soviet forces for the P-40B and C and Kittyhawk for P-40Ds and later variants. The P-40 was first used by British squadrons in North Africa and the Middle East in 1941. The P-40 lacked a two-speed supercharger making them inferior to German aircraft but was an adequate fighter in low altitude combat zones. Almost 12,000 P-40s were produced.
P-40N 43-23933 MSN 31872 was sent to the RAF as Kittyhawk IV FX835 OK-D and operated by the RAAF 450 Squadron. The aircraft was the first of at least 3 aircraft to wear the nose art “No Orchids”. In November 1944 FX835 OK-D was sent to 53 RSU for an overdue major overhaul. With FX835 gone FT881 was given OK-D and “No Orchids” art. In March 1945 OK-D and “No Orchids” was passed on to FX799 that was SOC March 28, 1946.
- Crew: 1.
- Powerplant: 1 x Allison V-1710-81 / 1,200 hp (895 kW)later series P-40N-40V-1710-115 / 1,360 hp (1,015 kW)
- Maximum speed: 378 mph @ 16,400 ft / (608 kph) (5,000 m)
- Crusing speed: 280 mph (455 kph)
- Rate of climb: 2,240 f/min (11.4 m/sec)
- Ceiling: 31,000 ft (9.450 m)
- Range: 745 mi (1,200 km)
- Wingspan: 37 ft 4 in (11.37 m)
- Length: 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m)
- Height: 12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)
- Empty weight: 6,405 lb (2,905 kg)
- Maximum take-off weight: 8,860 lb (4,020 kg)
- Armament: 4 x .50 cal (12.7 mm) Browning M2 machine guns and up to 1,500 lb (680 kg) of bombs on 3 hardpoints
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