Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014: Curtiss P-40 Warhawk First Flight Anniversary

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo 14 represents several significant aviation milestones, one of which is the 76th anniversary of the first flight of the Curtiss Model 75, or XP-40 as designated by the U.S. Army Air Corps.  The XP-40 was an outgrowth of the company's P-36A Hawk, with the Hawk's P&W Twin Wasp radial engine replaced with an Allison V1710 V-12.  The aircraft first flew on October 14, 1938, and offered only marginal improvements in performance over the P-36A.  Performance improved following modifications to the engine cooling system, cowling and landing gear in cooperation with the NACA Research Center at Langley Field, VA.  Orders for the production model P-40B pursuit aircraft (fighter) were placed in 1939, and nearly 13,800 of all models were produced through 1945.

The P-40 was used in all theaters, especially in the early years of World War II, and helped turn the Allies' defensive actions in China and North Africa into the first stages of victory on two fronts.  The early P-40B and P-40E models were used by the American Volunteer Group in China (the Flying Tigers) to blunt the Japanese offensive and in North Africa with the 99th Fighter Squadron, earning a reputation for ruggedness in combat.  The P-40E model included additional armament and more powerful engine, and the P-40N was the most numerous model in part due to exports to Allied forces.  A history of the P-40 development and service history can be found here.

Several P-40s were seen at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, and The Aero Experience was there to capture some photos of this classic warbird:

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