How good a plane was the P-40, really?

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I never understood the reason for that oil tank. Was the extra oil meant to cope with dust?

I think they underestimated the effects of the faring on drag. It had a streamlined shape but it's just too large, anything that sticks out into the slipstream has a cost in drag. And that Vokes filter is a lot.


The extra oil was to allow for the extra range of drop tanks.
The Spitfires and Hurricanes had been designed for short range and their oil tanks had been designed accordingly for the size of their fuel tanks.
The Photo recon Spits had extra large oil tanks.
Hurricanes had an oil tank in the leading edge of the left wing but it wasn't big enough for long flights with drop tanks.

Tank is inboard of the guns. Exposed tank also acted as an oil cooler. Changing the wing tank may have meant modifying the ribs on either side or some other problem?

P-40s had been designed for 160-180 US gallons of fuel originally and had oil tanks designed accordingly.
I don't know what they did for ferrying. There may have been different amounts of oil consumption per hour of cruise flight vs oil consumption per hour of high speed or combat power?
I believe that all of the air intakes for the Bf109 series were on the left side.
The DB6xx engine intakes were to port, the Jumo2xx intakes were to starboard.

The early DB intakes were angular and later versions had more of a radiused design.

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