AVG's aircraft question

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jerry W. Loper, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Jerry W. Loper

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    The American Volunteer Group's (AVG's, or Flying Tigers') first batch of fighters were P-40Cs (or Tomahawk IIBs) which had been turned down by the Brits. During the period the AVG was in combat (Dec. 1941 to July 1942), was this particular model gone from the U.S.'s frontline fighter squadrons due to obsolescence?
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I think the story is a lot more complicated than that. I believe the P-40s involved were relinquished back to either the US Goverment or to Curtiss in exchange for P-40Es to be delivered later. The P-40s the AVG got were being loaded on board ship in June of 1941. It takes time to get planes from the US to Asia or Europe, reassemble them, test fly them, issue them to units and train the units on the planes (including train mechanics).

    P-40Cs fought at Pearl Harbor, in the Philippines and maybe the Dutch East Indies. The P-40E had started coming off the production lines in the summer of 1941 and the "F" in January of 1942 but again, it takes months to get them into service over seas.
     
  3. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression the AVG initial batch of ~100 A/C were all P-40Bs.
     
  4. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    From WIKI:

    Curtiss Model 81 Tomahawk
    Model H81-A
    P-40A photo-reconnaissance fighter.
    Model H81-A1
    Tomahawk Mk I to Canada.
    Model H81-A2
    Tomahawk IIA, Tomahawk IIB to British, South African Air Force in North Africa.
    Model H81-A3
    Tomahawk IIA/B P-40B/C hybrid aircraft to China for the Flying Tigers. Blueprinted Allison V-1710-33 engines of 1,310 HP (977 kW), P-40B class external tank seals, P-40C class armor, and a mixture of guns[1]. P-40C to USAAF.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The engines were "Blueprinted" because they were actually made from rejected or out of spec parts. The Chinese had to "arrange" for the purchase of engines separate from the airframes. A separate production line was set up and a number of techniques used to bring "defective" parts back into spec. Over sized or stripped bolt holes were drilled out and inserts put in to bring them back to spec. Under sized bearings were welded or plated and reground and so on. The only way an Allison V-1710-33 was getting to 1,310 HP was by using an awful lot of over boosting and only at very low altitudes.

    I am not sure what the "mixture of guns" means. Many sources say the P-40B and C both had 4 .30 cal wing guns.
     
  6. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    I thought two 50's in the nose was standard was it not?
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Fuselage .50s were standard for all P-40s up until the D, although sometimes the British replaced them with .303s to match their .303 wing guns for ease of ammo supply. Some older books claimed the "B" only had one gun in each wing.
     
  8. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    to do what they did with 4 30cals on the plane would be impressive. could have sworn i read they had 50s on those ac tho...
     
  9. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    There should have been two .50s in the cowl. That was standard on ALL early P-40s up until the the D model regardless of the number of .30s in the wing. none, two or four. Please remember though that synchronized .50 cal guns were notoriously slow firing. Usually under 500rpm compared to the 800rpm of wing mounted .50cal guns. Substituting .30cal in the cowl (or .303s) was done on the local level to get around ammo shortages.

    Please remember that the AVG never engaged Zeros and most common fighter opponent was the Ki 43 with two 12.7mm mgs at best or more often than not one 12.7mm and one 7.7mm mg with some planes using a pair of 7.7mm mgs.
     
  10. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    I found on the internet a few years ago an alleged discussion with a Flying Tiger who swore up and down they had B model P-40's, but the writer said he was incorrect, that they had C models. They type they had seems to be an argument. I do also recall reading that they were a mix-match or hybrid of the B/ C. Interesting
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Flying Tiger veteran is saying what he knows which is what he was told at the time or what he could find out later.
    However since the P-40s used by the AVG came from a batch of of aircraft that were built to a British contract they weren't really either "B"s or "C"s. Main difference between the "B" and "C" seems to have been the fuel system. "B"s had external protection for the internal tanks and "C"s had internal protection of the internal tanks + provison for the drop tanks. Change in radio? when the changes were made on British contract planes and what provisions for radio were made?
     
  12. varsity078740

    varsity078740 Member

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    There were P-40Bs and P-40Cs in Hawaii, P-40Bs and P-40Es in the Philippines, and P-40Es in Java. P-40Cs were also sent to Iceland and Panama.

    Duane
     
  13. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the radio was Government Furnished Equipment and hence would not be installed in the AVG airframes. Guns and gunsights were also GFE.
     
  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    True but changes in the radio may have required a change in the wiring harness or support brackets/shelves. A minor change to be sure but then it seems the differences between the B and C were all minor and few, if any, show up on the outside of plane.
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Obsolete compared to what?

    Ki-27 remained the primary IJA fighter aircraft during the first half of 1942. Any model P-36 or P-40 is superior to Ki-27 if flown with proper tactics that use the speed advantage.
     
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