General Information
Type P-40B P-40C P-40G
Function Low- and medium-altitude fighter
Year 1941
Crew 1
Type 1*Allison V-1710-33
Power at take-off 1,150hp at 2,950rpm
Power at 4,570m 1,040hp
Length 9.66m
Height 3.23m
Wingspan 11.38m
Wing area 21.92m2
Weights and loads
Empty 2,536kg 2,636kg 2,439kg
Loaded 3,323kg 3,424kg 3,079kg
Maximum 3,447kg 3,655kg 3,273kg
Wing Load (kg/m2) 157 167 149
Power load (kg/hp) 3.31 3.51 3.15
Maximum speed at 4,570m 566km/h 555km/h 575km/h
Cruising speed 439km/h 435km/h 446km/h
Landing speed 129km/h 137km/h 129km/h
Normal 1,175km 1,046km
Maximum 1,520-1,980km 2,253km/h
Service ceiling 9,875m 8,992m 9,982m
4,570m 5.1min ?min ?min
Initial climb rate 872m/min 808m/min 939m/min
Guns 2*mg 12.7mm Colt-Browning M-2 (380 rounds/gun) and 4*mg 7.62mm Colt-Browning MG-40 or 7.7mm Browning Mk.II (480-500 rounds/gun)
Fuel 454-606l 507l plus provision for one 197l drop tank 378-636l

Curtiss P-40B and P-40C "Tomahawk" and P-40G "Warhawk"

33k b/w photo from "Red Stars in the Sky", Vol.1 by C.F.Geust and K.Keskinen of a Tomahawk Mk.IIA (ex-RAF AH975) during tests at NII VVS in 1942.

These variants were the first really combat-worthy models of the P-40 family. Compared with their predecessors they carried additional wing guns and had some armor protection and self-sealing fuel tanks.

Deliveries of the P-40B began early in 1941 and 231 machines were built (manufacturer designation Hawk 81A-2), 110 of them being delivered to Great Britain, where they were called Tomahawk Mk.IIA - being used by the RAF in North Africa from October 1941 on. 24 Tomahawk IIAs (ex-RAF AH936, AH952, AH965-971, AH974-985, AH987, AH989-990) were eventually sent to the Soviet Union by the British. Besides the two nose-mounted 12.7mm machine guns British Tomahawks normally carried English 7.7mm Browning guns in the wings instead of the American 7.62mm guns. Some sources quote that the American P-40Bs were equipped only with two wing guns, but in British service this type always carried four wing guns. Powerplant was the Allison V-1730-33 liquid-cooled 12-cylinder Vee-type engine (manufacturer designation V-1730-C15) with a mechanical single-stage supercharger.

Beginning in October 1941 the USSR received from the USA 16 (20?) examples of the P-40G Warhawk (in some sources also found as "plain" P-40s with only two fuselage-mounted 12.7mm guns). These were early P-40 airframes upgraded with the wings of the Tomahawk IIA. In 1943 the prototype of this modification - the XP-40G - was also shipped to Russia.

69k b/w photo from "Red Stars in the Sky", Vol.1 by C.F.Geust and K.Keskinen of Tomahawk Mk.II "75" of 154 IAP taking off for a sortie near Leningrad in 1942.

The next variant to appear was the P-40C (Hawk 81A-3). Of this model 193 were built for the US Army Air Corps and a further 930 examples went to the RAF as Tomahawk IIBs. Engine and armament were the same as with the P-40B, but improved self-sealing tanks and other equipment changes resulted in an increase in weight and accordingly the performance figures suffered. An appreciable number of the machines originally delivered to the RAF was handed over to other countries like China, Turkey, Egypt, Canada, South Africa, Australia and the Soviet Union.

There is evidence that a total of 325 (some sources list only 195, but this seems to be incomplete) Tomahawk IIBs were sent to Russia (ex-RAF AH991-994, AH997, 125 machines out of the batch AK100-AK570, 146 examples out of AN218-AN468 and AN469-AN517). The last-mentioned 49 aircraft were shipped to the USSR directly from the USA, the other machines came from reserve stocks held in Great Britain in anticipation of a possible German invasion (the danger of which had nullified by mid- 1941, so those planes could be spared). Initially the P-40s were delivered by sea to Arkhangelsk, assembled (with the aid of British and American technicians and instructors) at a place about 25km south of this town and then transferred to Vologda. They went into action on the Moscow (126 IAP of the PVO) and Leningrad fronts (154 and 159 IAPs) from October 1941 on and were the first US-manufactured planes to be used in this theater of war. From 1942 on P-40 deliveries also came via Iran.

Two shots of a Tomahawk plastic model with Soviet markings in winter camouflage salvaged from a meanwhile disappeared(?) website.

No earlier P-40s delivered to Russia.
P-40E/F/K/M/N Kittyhawk

  • Profile Publications No.35 "The Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk" by Ray Wagner;
  • "An Illustrated Anatomy of the World's Fighters" by W.Green and G.Swanborough;
  • Squadron/Signal Publications Aircraft No.26 "Curtiss P-40 in Action" by Ernest R. McDowell;
  • Squadron/Signal Publications Walk Around No.8 "P-40 Warhawk" by Lou Drendel;
  • "War Planes of the Second World War - Fighters Vol.4" by William Green;
  • "Technik und Einsatz der Kampfflugzeuge vom 1. Weltkrieg bis heute" ("Technology and Usage of Combat Aircraft from WW I until Today") by B.Gunston (in German);
  • "Red Stars in the Sky", Vol.1, by Carl-Fredrik Geust, Kalevi Keskinen, Klaus Niska and Kari Stenman;
  • "Aero" magazine, Vol.159 (in German);
  • "Sowjetische Jagdflugzeuge" ("Soviet Fighters") by Wilfried Kopenhagen (in German);
  • "British Military Aircraft Serials 1878-1987" by Bruce Robertson - here the RAF serial numbers were found;
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
  • Tomahawk, Curtiss
  • Watson's Military
  • Complete description of the Curtiss P-40
  • Joe Baugher's Comprehensive Page, very informative!
  • Lot's of photos
  • P-40 Warhawk
  • Curtiss P-40, in Russian
  • USAF Museum

  • Created for RAM April 14, 2000
    by Thomas Heinz
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