P-40 Warhawk External Stores

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by PhantomII, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. PhantomII

    PhantomII New Member

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    #1 PhantomII, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
    Hello all. Let me start by saying I'm new here so please pardon the ignorance regarding forum etiquette. I'm a big aviation buff, and WWII is one of the most fascinating eras to me. I have an incredible amount of respect for the men and women who took part in that war, and in particular the aviators and ground crews that flew and worked all around the world in the machines of the day. I'm in the U.S. Air Force myself so learning about the history of my branch (though it wasn't technically the USAF until 1947 :D ) as well as that of the others is always interesting to me. I look forward to finding out what all I can learn here.

    I'll go ahead and get this out of the way. The Curtiss P-40 series is far and away my favorite aircraft of the era. With so many great aircraft of the era, I have many that I really like, but for some reason the P-40 has captured my heart and imagination. I view it as one of the most underrated fighters of the war, though having read as many books as I have on it, it seems that in many ways it might be getting a bit more respect than it has previously. I'd like to think that is the case anyways.

    Oddly enough as much as I've read on the P-40, I've always have trouble pinning down the whole story with regard to externally carried stores. I figured I'd go ahead and put down what I've been able to ascertain, and hopefully the collective knowledge of the members here can correct me where necessary. Thanks for any and all replies! In alphabetical order, I'll just post the variant and what I (think) I know regarding its external stores capability.

    P-40B (Tomahawk IIA) - None
    P-40C (Tomahawk IIB) - 1x 52-U.S. gallon fuel tank
    P-40D/E (Kittyhawk I/IA) - 1x 52-U.S. gallon tank (centerline), 1x bomb of up to 500-lbs. (centerline), 1x bomb up to 100-lbs. (each wing)
    P-40F/L (Kittyhawk II) - 1x 52-U.S. gallon tank (centerline), 1x bomb of up to 500-lbs. (centerline), 1x bomb up to 250-lbs. (each wing)
    P-40K (Kittyhawk III) - 1x 75-U.S. gallon tank (centerline), 1x bomb of up to 500-lbs. (centerline), 1x bomb up to 250-lbs. (each wing)
    P-40M (Kittyhawk III) - 1x 75-U.S. gallon tank (centerline), 1x bomb of up to 500-lbs. (centerline), 1x bomb up to 250-lbs. (each wing)
    P-40N (Kittyhawk IV) - 1x 75-U.S. gallon tank (centerline), 1x bomb of up to 500-lbs. (centerline), 1x bomb up to 500-lbs. (each wing)


    I realize this is a fairly simple list, but I'm lookin for information/corrections along the lines of the factory installed stuff. The P-40K P-40M in particular instrigue me as it seems like the P-40E is a well known quantity as is the N, but the K M despite being very heavily used are harder to find information on (wasn't the P-40K it the most powerful P-40 with 1,325-hp. under the hood?)

    I realize field modifications were made in different theaters, such as the following: (If you have any additional informaton on this front that would certainly be interesting as well)

    Russian P-40's using RS-82 rockets (?)
    P-40N's being fitted with 1,000-lb. bombs under wing (fuselage too?)
    P-40N's using the triple tube rocket launchers commonly seen on P-38's P-47's (?)
    P-40K's using 500-lb. bombs under wing (?)
    British P-40's using clusters of small bombs underwing in the Desert

    Thanks again for any and all help!
     
  2. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    To quote from a 112 Squadron (Tomahawk then Kittyhawk equipped) song from the Western Desert in 1941:

    "They say the Flying Fortress flies at forty thousand feet, but it only carries a teeny-weeny bomb."
     
  3. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Sound like you have it pretty well nailed. Welcome to the forum!
     
  4. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    Welcome PhantomII. For a newbee you seem to have done your homework well!
     
  5. PhantomII

    PhantomII New Member

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    Many thanks for the warm welcome. You guys do make it sound like I know more than I actually do though. I was under the impression that ya'll would be teaching me stuff. :)

    The main two areas I'm interested in are the drop tanks (at what point (or model) did they switch from the 52-gal. tank to the larger 75-gal. tank.

    Additionally, the wing racks are interesting because it is hard to tell what was factory installed and what was a field modification.

    I hope this thread can continue to get a bit of attention...hopefully a great discussion can be had. If any of you have any inkling as to the accuracy of my information or you have other info to share please do! :)

    I look forward to more replies.
     
  6. PhantomII

    PhantomII New Member

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    So is bumping allow on the forum (I would assume no), and if not then would any of you suggest others places I could search for this information?

    Doesn't seem to have attracted much attention... :(
     
  7. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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  8. PhantomII

    PhantomII New Member

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    So I read the first volume on the P-40 in the Detail Scale series by Squadron Signal. Interesting enough, it mentioned that the P-40C was also able to carry a 500-lb. bomb in lieu of the 52-gallon. drop tank. a Short, but most interesting read. I've never heard of the Flying Tigers using any bombs of that size during their operations, but I wonder if the Brits did in the Desert with their Tomahawks. You often hear of Kittybombers, but did they have Tomabombers? :)

    Oh, and fubar, thanks for the links!
     
  9. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

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    There might be some Tomahawk bomber information to be found in Tomahawk use by the RAF Army Cooperation Command who used UK based Tomahawks 1941 to 1943 but I have not found any myself. They must have had something. Even their earlier Lysanders had a bombload.
     
  10. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    #10 gjs238, Nov 1, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
    Were there adequate bombsights, or was it more or less trial error?
     
  11. PhantomII

    PhantomII New Member

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    The book didn't mention much about sights...just the reflective sight that was standard on the early P-40's at the time. Given that the primary reason for the centerline station was the external fuel tank, I'd wager they just realized it was relatively easy to install a bomb in place of the tank.
     
  12. barneybolac

    barneybolac Member

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  13. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    Another P-40 fan, cool! Welcome to the forum.
     
  14. altsym

    altsym Member

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    Didn't P-40's also carry six 250lb bombs + drop tank also? RAF in N.Afrika iirc.
     
  15. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    The Kittybomber could, if that's what you're thinking. They were also capable of carrying six in three clusters of two. I'll post a pic in a sec.
     
  16. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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