Curtiss Kittyhawk

Curtiss Kittyhawk

Peter Handley, Vintage Wings of Canada

Vintage Wings of Canada’s “W/C Stocky Edwards P-40N Curtiss Kittyhawk” is painted in the same Desert Air Force markings of Wing Commander James “Stocky” Edwards’ North Africa-based 260 Squadron (RAF). In this photo, pilot Dave Hadfield soars over the Gatineau Hills with his father, Roger, on board.

Overview

Overview

The Curtiss Kittyhawk was a further improved development of the company's successful P-40 fighter. The improvements included a more powerful engine, additional armament, provision for the carriage of bombs plus numerous other design changes. The P-40 variants became among the most widely-used fighters of the Second World War, being employed by more than a dozen air forces. Kittyhawks came into service with the RCAF in late 1941. In addition to being operated overseas, they were flown by Nos 14, 111, 118, 132, 133, and 135 Squadrons of the home war establishment. Nos 14 and 111 Squadrons were deployed and operated in the Aleutian campaign. On September 25, 1942, Squadron Leader K.A. Boomer, commanding officer of No. 111 Squadron, destroyed a Japanese Rufe floatplane during a fighter sortie in a Kittyhawk over Kiska in the Aleutians. This proved to be the first and only Royal Canadian Air Force air combat victory over North American soil.

Model number P-40D, E, K, H
Marks Mk I, IA, III, IV
Role Fighter
Taken on strength 1941
Struck off strength 1946
Number 143
Service RCAF

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

Technical specifications

Technical specifications (Kittyhawk Mk III)

Manufacturer Curtiss Wright Aircraft
Crew / passengers One pilot
Powerplant One 1,600 horsepower Allison V-1710-81 piston engine
Maximum speed 362 mph (583 km/h)
Service ceiling 30,000 ft (9,144 m)     
Range 1,190 mi (1,915 km)
Empty weight 6,400 lbs (2,903 kg)
Gross weight  8,500 lbs (3,856 kg)
Span 37 ft 4 in (11.38 m)
Length 31 ft 2 in (9.50 m)
Height 10 ft 7 in (3.23 m)
Wing area 236 sq ft (21.95 sq m)
Armament Six 0.5 in (12.7 mmm) wing-mounted machine guns plus up to 1,000 lbs (454 kg) in bombs
Cost $45,000 US

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

113 mph (182 km/h)
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