PIX000021 CURTIS P-40N WARHAWK (BOSS HOSS)
About the U.S. Curtiss P-40 Warhwak (Fighter Airplane)
The Curtiss P-40 was an American single-engine, single-seat, low-wing, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft which first flew in 1938 and was used in great numbers in World War II. When production ceased in November 1944, 13,738 P-40s had been produced; they were used by the air forces of 28 nations.
Warhawk was the name the US Army Air Corps (USAAC; known later in the war as the US Army Air Forces) adopted for all models, making it the official name in the US for all P-40s. British Commonwealth air forces gave the name Tomahawk to models equivalent to the P-40B and P-40C, and the name Kittyhawk to models equivalent to the P-40E and all later versions.
The P-40 — just like the P-39 which was equipped with a similar Allison engine — was considered inferior and was unpopular with USAAF officials and some pilots in the Pacific. Its replacement by the turbo-supercharged P-38 was greeted with relief. However, when transferred to theaters where the high-altitude characteristics were less important, the P-40 still proved an effective fighter. In this role, the P-40 offered the additional advantage of a low price tag, which kept it in production as a ground-attack aircraft long after it was obsolete as a fighter.
Although it gained a post-war reputation as an mediocre type suitable only for close air support, more recent data from Allied squadrons in particular indicate that the P-40 performed surprisingly well as an air-superiority fighter, sometimes suffering severe losses but also taking a very heavy toll on enemy aircraft