P-40K with carb cooling grille?

Discussion in 'Other Mechanical Systems Tech.' started by HBPencil, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. HBPencil

    HBPencil Member

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    Hi there,

    Over at the WONZ site I posted a thread about a mysterious photo showing an RNZAF P-40 at Henderson Field. I shall copy'n'paste my original post below:

    The question I have relates to this photo, the blurb of which states that the P-40K-15 in the foreground is NZ3064. The last digit isn't very clear but it certainly looks like '4':
    [​IMG]

    It was my understanding that only the E and K were received with the two tone cammo scheme on the upper surfaces along with the scalloped demarcation between the upper and lower surface colours, the K being the last series were Curtiss bothered to apply customer spec'd cammo. The M and Ns that followed being painted in the standard OD over NG.
    At first glance NZ3064 seems to fit that pattern; the serial being for a K-15 and the paint job seems right as well... except I just noticed that she seems to have the carburetor air filters (the small perforated panel forward of the exhausts), a feature that was introduced on the M! Which leads me to wonder if the serial number isn't what was thought and to ask if any RNZAF Ms were painted in two tone cammo?


    I've had several replys in which some ideas have been put forward; either it's a K that has been rebuilt from the firewall forward with M parts, or that maybe the K saw the first introduction of the grille (perhaps either as a modification or as produced?).
    So I want to throw it out there to the wider aviation community, have any of you heard of the K being fitted with the grille?

    Regards,

    HB

    P.S. the original thread is here: P-40K colours... or is it a M? | Wings Over New Zealand
     
  2. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    It is not a "K". Those grills were not used until the "M" model. In fact about the only way to tell the difference between a long tail "K" and an "M" is if it does of does not have that grill. It's even possible that it could be a very early "N" with the old style canopy. With the over-exposure around the canopy its hard to see detail. It's even be possible that it may be an "N" with the new type canopy. In any case with that grill it has to be either an "M" or an "N"
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    #3 fubar57, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    From the Detail Scale P-40 Warhawk Vol. 2 - "Photographic evidence indicates that P-40R-2-CUs, which were P-40Ls delivered with Allison engines instead of Merlins, also had the same V-1710-81 version of the powerplant. As a result, these Warhawks had the same two grills as well." Looking for photos.



    Geo

    EDIT: Just read a caption in the RAAF Camouflage and Marking Vol.1 that said, "The wizardry of the Australian Repair and Salvage Units in cannibalizing aircraft and constructing hybrid machines from the pieces was often remarked upon by the Americans." You might be onto something.
     
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  4. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Hi

    The P-40E through to P-40M could be improved with the addition of a carb air filter, like the later M's and N's. Curtiss released a technical bulletin on how this could be achieved numbered 01-25C-7.

    see below for a copy.

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/at.../73667d1224249947-40-flight-manual-p40_sb.pdf


    It's not impossible that this aircraft has received either this modification or has been given a cowling transplant from a later model.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  5. HBPencil

    HBPencil Member

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    Thank you guys for your replys and thank you Peter for that pdf, it's awesome! It's interesting to learn that the first 59 Ms didn't have that air filter. In this case though I'm inclined to think that the aircraft in the picture above has had a cowling transplant rather than a modification as the photo predates that technical order (its caption claimed it was taken in August '43 and even if that's wrong the fuselage roundels and tail markings certainly are earlier than October '43).

    @TBolt: I too wondered the same thing, that it could be an M although I doubt that it could've been an N-1 (which the RNZAF operated a number of) as by the time the Kiwi Ns arrived in the forward area (Sept or Oct '43 iirc) the markings would've changed (different fuselage roundels and a white tail unit). If the serial is NZ3064 then it is a K-15 according to ADF-serials (ex 42-10327, c/n 21711), so along with what I wrote in the above paragraph I'm leaning towards it being a transplant job as the Kiwis, like the Aussies mentioned by fubar57, had to salvage and recycle as much as they could due to their limited resources.
     
  6. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    #6 gumbyk, Sep 3, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
    Well, knowing what happened in New Zealand with repairs and rebuilds/modifications, it is probable that it was done as a field mod.

    I know that there were 'ghost' machines which were built up from two or more wrecks, so it isn't without merit that they also modified aircraft with newer model features.

    Who else was at Henderson Field around the same time or earlier? What did they operate? Its highly possible that this part was scavenged from a wreck or 'acquired' from another unit to make repairs.
     
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