Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Flying the P-40

This is my Curtiss P-40 from Tumansky Heavy Industries (THI) in SL

Prims and Textures: Duke Elliott
Scripts, Special Effects, and Sound Editing: Creem Pye

Historical background from the notecard...

The famous American Curtiss P-40 was designed in the late 30s as a development of the P-36 design. First flown in 1938, almost 14,000 were produced during WW2. Called the 'Warhawk' by the Americans and 'Tomahawk'/'Kittyhawk' by the British, it was used as fighter or ground attack plane. Since early versions suffered from the lack of a proper supercharger, the Allies used the P-40 in areas where high altitude performance was not critical. This aircraft was heavily used in China, the Mediterranean, South Asia, the Southwest Pacific and Eastern Europe.

British Commonwealth squadrons first used the P-40 in combat in the Desert Air Force in the Middle East and North African campaigns during June 1941. There, the Tomahawk's famous "shark mouth" design was painted for the very first time, as a copy of the markings used by the Luftwaffe on Bf-110 planes. This logo became to be used later by famous Flying Tigers in China and other pilots of the P-40 worldwide.
When properly used, the P-40 performed surprisingly well as an air superiority fighter; at times suffering severe losses but also shooting down many enemy aircraft.
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