Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

ICAO aircraft code P40
Manufacturer Curtiss
Country United States
New price USD 0.045 million (1944)

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938.


Full description

Similar aircraft

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk specifications


ICAO aircraft code
1939 - 1944
United States
New purchase price
USD 0.045 million (1944)

Aircraft performance

1x Allison V-1710-39
1,240 HP
Max Cruise Speed:
318 Kts
589 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
83 Kts
Travel range:
622 Nm
1,152 Kilometers
Service Ceiling:
29,000 feet
Rate of Climb:
2100 feet / minute
10.67meter / second

Weight & dimensions

Max Take Off Weight:
4,173 Kg
9,200 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
3,862 Kg
8,514 lbs
Max Payload:
910 Kg
2,006 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
157 gallon
594 liter

Disclaimer: The information on this page may not be accurate or current. Never use it for flight planning or any other aircraft operation purposes. No warranty of fitness for any purpose is made or implied. Flight planning or any other aircraft operations should only be done using official technical information provided by the manufacture or official aviation authorities.

About the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. The P-40 design was a modification of the previous Curtiss P-36 Hawk which reduced development time and enabled a rapid entry into production and operational service. The Warhawk was used by most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in frontline service until the end of the war. It was the third most-produced American fighter of World War II, after the P-51 and P-47; by November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built, all at Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s main production facilities at Buffalo, New York.

P-40 Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps gave the plane, and after June 1941, the USAAF
adopted the name for all models, making it the official name in the U.S. for all P-40s. The British Commonwealth and Soviet air forces used the name Tomahawk for models equivalent to the original P-40, P-40B, and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk for models equivalent to the P-40D and all later variants.

P-40s first saw combat with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns, during June 1941. No. 112 Squadron Royal Air Force, was among the first to operate Tomahawks in North Africa and the unit was the first Allied military aviation unit to feature the “shark mouth” logo, copying similar markings on some Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110 twin-engine fighters.

The P-40’s lack of a two-speed supercharger made it inferior to Luftwaffe fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 or the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 in high-altitude combat and it was rarely used in operations in Northwest Europe. However, between 1941 and 1944, the P-40 played a critical role with Allied air forces in three major theaters: North Africa, the Southwest Pacific, and China. It also had a significant role in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Alaska and Italy. The P-40’s performance at high altitudes was not as important in those theaters, where it served as an air superiority fighter, bomber escort and fighter-bomber. Although it gained a postwar reputation as a mediocre design, suitable only for close air support, more recent research including scrutiny of the records of individual Allied squadrons indicates that this was not the case: the P-40 performed surprisingly well as an air superiority fighter, at times suffering severe losses, but also inflicting a very heavy toll on enemy aircraft. Based on war-time victory claims, over 200 Allied fighter pilots – from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the US and the Soviet Union – became aces flying the P-40. These included at least 20 double aces, mostly over North Africa, China, Burma and India, the South West Pacific and Eastern Europe. The P-40 offered the additional advantages of low cost and durability, which kept it in production as a ground-attack aircraft long after it was obsolescent as a fighter.

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