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United States' Curtiss P-36 Hawk fighter

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Curtiss P-36 Hawk fighter:
United States' Curtiss P-36 Hawk fighter

Design

The Curtiss Model 75 Hawk was to compete for a United States Army Air Corps competition for a monoplane fighter. It lost to the Seversky P-35.

In November 1934 Curtiss finished the design for the Curtiss P-36.

Three were later ordered, for evaluation, by the Army Air Corps and they had Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines. This was flown in February 1937 and a contract was placed shortly afterwards.

Prototype

The prototype Curtis Model 75 flew for the first time on May 15, 1935.

The Y1P-36 prototype flew in February 1937.

Production

  • Curtiss Y1P-36: 3
  • Curtiss P-36A: 178
  • Curtiss P-36C: 30, 31
    • Production: ? - 1939
  • Curtiss P-36G: 30
  • Total: 1,424
    • Manufacturer: Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Variants

  • Curtiss Model 75: Prototype. Had a Wright R-1820 radial engine (900 HP).
  • Curtiss Y1P-36: Prototype.
  • Curtiss XP-36D: Prototype with different armament.
  • Curtiss XP-36F: Prototype with different armament.
  • Curtiss P-36:
  • Curtiss P-36A:
  • Curtiss P-36B: Experimental conversion to use more powerful Twin Wasp.
  • Curtiss P-36C:
  • Curtiss P-36G: Had Wright Cyclone engines. Were originally intended for the Norwegian Air Force but was taken over by the United States.
  • Curtiss Hawk 75: Export version with fixed undercarriage. Had Wright Cyclone engine. Sent to Argentina, China, and Thailand.
  • Curtiss Hawk 75A: Export version that had Twin Wasp engine.
  • Curtiss Hawk 75-R: Experimental version with turbocharged engine.

Usage

The countries that used the Hawk were Argentina, Britain, China, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Thailand, and United States.

20 Hawk 75s were assembled by FMA in Argentina. 30-40 Hawk 75As assembled by CAMCO in China. 5 Hawk 75As assembled in India by Hindustan Aircraft.

France

350 of 620 ordered were received by France by the time of the German invasion. They claimed to have shot down 311 Luftwaffe aircraft.

The rest that weren't delivered were sent to the Royal Air Force and were designated the Mohawk.

First Japanese

The Curtis P-36 was the first to shoot down a Japanese aircraft at Pearl Harbor. There were four Curtiss P-36s in operation at Pearl Harbor.

Specifications

  Curtiss P-36 Hawk
Type Fighter bomber
Crew 1
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 37' 3.5"
11.37 m
Length 28' 6"
8.69 m
Height 12' 2"
3.71 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Curtiss P-36A Hawk
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-13 Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
HP 1,050
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,567 lb
2,072 kg
Loaded 6,010 lb
2,726 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 10,000' /
3,048 m
300 mph
483 kph
Cruising speed 200 mph
322 kph
Climb to 15,000' /
4,572 m
4.9 minutes
Service ceiling 33,000'
10,058 m
Range 825 miles
1,328 km
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.3" MG
1: 0.5" MG
  Curtiss P-36C Hawk
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-17 Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,200
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 37' 4"
Length 28' 6"
Height 12' 2"
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 6,150 lb
Performance  
Speed @ 10,000' /
3,048 m
311 mph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 33,700'
Range 820 miles
Armament 4: MG
Nose 1: 0.3" MG
1: 05" MG
Wings 2: 0.3" MG
  Curtiss Hawk 75A
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament 6: MGs
Bombs - under wing 400 lb
181 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site