Curtiss YP-37: what was the disposition of the 14 built?

MrSmoothie

Airman
54
38
Jan 21, 2019
I was doing some light research on the Curtiss XP-37 and saw that some 14 YP-37's were made. I noticed that all the photos I found online showed prewar markings.

It made me wonder what became of them, especially during WW2 -- were they scrapped? Utilized for research? Used as runabouts?

Were any repainted with subsequent USAAF WW2 camo and markings? I did find a single photo of one '37 in an experimental camo, similar to that seen on a squadron of P-36's, but much more hastily applied, and no national insignia.
 

MrSmoothie

Airman
54
38
Jan 21, 2019
Some sources say 13, another 14. One did go to Alaska for cold weather testing and had bright red-orange paint added top and bottom in case it crash landed in snow.

I'm sure none have survived -- the question is what happened to them back then? Were they scrapped? Used to train mechanics? How long did they survive?
 

FLYBOYJ

"THE GREAT GAZOO"
Staff
Mod
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Apr 9, 2005
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Some sources say 13, another 14. One did go to Alaska for cold weather testing and had bright red-orange paint added top and bottom in case it crash landed in snow.

I'm sure none have survived -- the question is what happened to them back then? Were they scrapped? Used to train mechanics? How long did they survive?
I believe some were used to train mechanics. I'll dig around to find a reference
 

mjfur

Senior Airman
365
335
Sep 23, 2006
One XP-37 Curtiss P-37
37-375 Curtiss XP-37 1930-1937 USAAC Serial Numbers
Curtiss Model 75 prototype, MSN 11923, registered NX17Y. Modified to Model 75I. To Army as XP-37,
first flown Apr 1937 and delivered Jun 1937. Retired to Army mechanics school Aug 1941.


and 13 YP-37's aircraft.
38-472/484 Curtiss YP-37 MSN 12655/12667 1938-1939 USAAC Serial Numbers

472 wrecked Jan 24, 1942
473 wrecked Feb 9, 1941 in landing accident Spartanburg SC
474 To NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, Virginia for tests Feb 10,1941 Mar 3, 1941.
476 to Biloxi as Class 26 instructional airframe
477 to Ladd Field, Alaska for cold weather testing
478 surveyed and condemned at Biloxi Feb 6, 1942
479 to Chanute Field Nov 7, 1941
480 to Chanute Field Sep 19, 1941.
481 ground-looped Apr 8, 1941 at Ladd Field, Alaska and to Class 26
instructional airframe Apr 8, 1941
482 wrecked at Gulfport, MS Jan 5, 1942
483 to class 26 instructional airframe at Chanute Field Nov 7,1941
484 to class 26 instructional airframe at Sheppard Field, TX Nov 6, 1941
 
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MrSmoothie

Airman
54
38
Jan 21, 2019
Wow, now that's a great answer -- thanks! Now makes me wonder how long some survived, such as the two to Chanute (unless they too were used as instructional airframes, which, I suppose was most likely). I guess probably none of them ever received updated wartime markings (no red dots nor rudder stripes). Kind of a shame one didn't make into a museum -- such a unique looking airplane.
 

Spitlead

Airman 1st Class
126
91
Feb 19, 2019
If I'm not mistaken there were 13 YP-37s and 1 XP-37. So total of 14 aircraft of the P-37 prototypes. The XP-37 was a one off having a different Allison engine than the YP-37s. The design looks like Curtiss , in an attempt for speed, took design queues from air racers of the day. Big, heavy engine with light airframe requiring the cockpit to get moved back to improve the center of gravity. Photo from the 1932 Cleveland Air Races


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Shortround6

Major General
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Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
Curtiss XP-37
P37.jpg

YP-37
640px-Curtiss_YP-37_%2815952957118%29.jpg


Note the difference in distance between the end of the canopy track and the horizontal stabilizer leading edge.
The XP-37 was actually the original Hawk 75 demonstrator airframe.
The reward cockpit was a result of a number of things.
They stuck the turbo under the engine but the radiators, oil cooler and intercooler were all inside the fuselage aft of the engine.
They moved the aux fuel tank from aft of the cockpit to pretty much the CG over the wing. Early P-36s had aft center of gravity with aux tank filled.
Radios also were moved to forward of the cockpit instead of aft.
 
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T Bolt

Colonel
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Mar 24, 2010
Chicago, Illinois
I remember my father saying he saw one during the war. They had him practice synchronizing the guns to shoot through the prop. He said it wasn't airworthy at the time.
Dad was drafted in Dec '41 and transferred to the Air Corps sometime late in '42, then shipped overseas in June '44 so it had to between those dates. I know he spent most of that time out west so my guess is it was #484 at Sheppard Field, TX although I don't remember him mentioning that airfield.
 

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