P-40B and Hawk 81A-2

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by billswagger, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. billswagger

    billswagger Member

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    Are these the same plane, or are they different?

    It seems like they had slight variations in armament, but was there also a difference in performance?

    The Hawk 81A-2 is usually whats referred to in reference to the P-40s supplied to the AVG in China/Burma 1941.

    The information i've been able to find says they were like P-40Cs but performed more like Bs, but i'm wondering what the distinction is because the same plane was shipped to Britain and dubbed the Tomahawk MkIIa.


    I figured i would check here to see what this crowd has to say.


    thanks

    Bill
     
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    P-40(no suffix); H81-A1/2; Tomahawk I; 342mph; nose armament x2 .50 mgs
    P-40B/C; H81A-3; Tomahawk IIA; 340mph; nose armament + extra .30 wing mgs
    P-40D; H87-A2; Kittyhawk I; 360mph; deleted nose armament, x4 .50 wing mgs
    P-40E; 87-A4/87-B2; Kittyhawk I/III, Warhawk; 360mph; x6 .50 wing mgs
    P-40F; 87-B3/87D; Kittyhawk II; 364mph; x4 or x6 .50 wing mgs, seemingly no hard and fast rule
    P-40N; 87M; Kittyhawk IV, Warhawk; 378mph; x4 .50 wing mgs
     
  3. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    seems the hawk was the model and the P40 was the military designation...just did an el quicko look and found this...

    P-40
     
  4. billswagger

    billswagger Member

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    I saw this site, but i was looking to see if there were any differences to the ones used by the AVG, to those labeled as Hawk-81A-2 or P-40B.

    They do appear to be the same planes.



    Bill
     
  5. Demetrious

    Demetrious Member

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    Damn close to identical, yes. The P-40B was the Army designation, and the Hawk-81A was the Curtiss-Wright factory designation.

    There IS one difference to be noted- the company that provided the engines for the Hawk-81As that equipped the Flying Tigers were for some reason overpowered, which gave Tiger fighters a very welcome hundred or so extra horsepower, at the cost of significantly reduced engine hours (since the gearing in the gearbox wasn't designed for those loads.)

    As far as I know, anyway.
     
  6. billswagger

    billswagger Member

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    This site gives further distinction:
    P-40 Warhawk Variants



    The P-40B (Model H81-B) equipped with 2 50 calibers and 1 .30 gun in each wing. This plane sounds more or less the same as the first production P-40 (Curtiss Model 81) except it has the added armor and self sealing tanks.

    Tomahawk IIA (Model H81-A2) described as the export equivalent but it had two browning 303s in each wing.

    P-40C or Tomahawk IIB (Model H81-A3) is further distinguished by the addition of larger self sealing fuel stores and a belly shackle to carry a drop tank or bomb, as well as additional armor.

    The only thing i can see here that is mentioned is that the original P-40 had a power output of 1040 hp, while B/C outputs were said to be 1150 hp, however there is no mention of a new engine model.


    Bill
     
  7. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    bill's got the goods on the H81-A2 used by the AVG. These were ex-British aircraft and did not arrive directly from US manufacturers, but were given to them from England. Thus most of the nose guns were either removed entirely or replaced by .303" Brownings for a total armament of 4-6 .303" Brownings on any given aircraft.
    At the time the British first received the P-40 they did not consider the .50" Browning to be a reliable, battle proven weapon.
    Later deliveries came from the US, by then the P-40E.
    Also early Allison Div OP for the P-40 was for low octane. Local fuel quality was poor anyway around Burma. But since the AVG were probably supplied fuel from Kunming this would warrant the increased boost guidelines for 1150hp as opposed to 1050hp. The F-series Allison of the P-40E could of course manage over 1200hp at throttle height and much more at ram air altitude on good fuel, with the 6xfifties this would definitely have been a huge performance leap.
     
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  8. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Brits were using .50in on their Martlets as early as late 1940; were they encountering any issues?
     
  9. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    It was a diverted French order. And obviously they lightened up on the weapon eventually. Just that the Hawk 81 (also initially received as a diverted French order) had their nose .50's frequently switched out or otherwise removed and this practise continued in orders made directly by GB, but for those orders they requested improved armour and other features (Tomahawk MkIIb, subsequently adopted for US manufacture). It is even noted at many P-40 websites that "British Tomahawks often changed the nose armament for .303 Brownings or removed them completely"

    And the ones used initially by the AVG were given by GB from their stocks, they were not supplied directly by the US (this would be the reason the Hawk 81 designation was retained, which was the French designation).

    Maybe one could speculate that had the Martlet been handed to the RAF instead of the RN they might've had their .50's switched out for .303" brownings too.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #10 tomo pauk, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
    If I understand you correctly, the 1st Martlets RAF received flew without .50cals, which were replaced by .303s? (I'm not original speaker, sorry for bugging you)
    Were Brits using Martlets with .50s in 1941?
    Did they encounter any issues with .50 cals early in war (no matter what the plane)?
     
  11. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    #11 Colin1, Apr 13, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
    Production Figures

    Model_Production_Hawk
    XP-40___1_________81
    P-40____199_______81
    P-40B___131_______81A-2
    P-40C___193_______81A-3
    P-40D___22________87A-2
    P-40E___2320______87A-3 (1500 to RAF)
    XP-40F__1_________87D
    P-40F___3631
    P-40G___1
    P-40K___1300
    P-40L___700
    P-40M___600 (595 of these go to RAF)
    P-40N___5219______87W

    Total 14318

    140 81s to British
    110 81A-2s to British
    930 81A-3s to British (100 to China and 195 to Russia from this batch)
    20 87A-2s to British
    1,500 87A-3s to British
    21 P-40Ks to British

    Source:
    Rickard, J (12 June 2007), Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Performance Figures, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Performance Figures
     
  12. Buz101

    Buz101 New Member

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    Guys

    Some of the numbers above are a little out of wack. P-40F had 1300 built, Missing the Tomahawk (H81A models) of which there was 1180, as well as the Kittyhawk (H87A) of which there were 560.

    As for the British numbers, again out of wack.....The RAF got a lot less than 1500 E-1 Models (just over 220) with other going to Commonwealth Air Forces (the biggest users of this type were the Russians and USAAF). The RAF also recieved a lot more K models than 21, as well as the quoted 595 P-40M models going to the RAF being incorrect. The biggest user of the M model was again the USAAF, with the RAF only getting 94 of these aircraft.

    Total number of P-40's built was 13738 (give or take 3 or 4, but thats another story all on its own). I'll try and post a full break down of the RAF deliveries soon

    Buz
     
  13. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    AFAIK the first AVG P40s did not come from Britain and had not seen service with the RAF. They were diverted from an RAF order and came directly from the Curtiss plants. (New York harbor to Rangoon harbor)
    http://www.warbirdforum.com/hawks.htm
    Examining the sequence of mfg serial #'s at the above site, I find it extremely unlikely that the AVG planes were any different than the RAF Tomahawk IIb's sent to North Africa.
     
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