The 10th production P36 Hawk was removed from the production line and had its radial engine replaced with an Allison inline V12 engine. After a few tweaks, it was accepted for service as the P-40.
In line with USAAF doctrine the P-40 had a single stage supercharger optimised for low to medium level and performance above 15000 Ft was poor.
Early versions also lacked armour and self-sealing tanks. These were added in subsequent models along with extra guns and new radios as the “B” model.
Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbour, approx. 100 P-40s were stationed on the Island.
A common problem was pilots buzzing the airfield towers so large “Buzz” numbers were painted on the sides of Hawaiian based fighters.
During the Pearl Harbour attack 72 P-40s were destroyed or damaged on the ground. A total of 5 P-40s were able to be launched during the attack. 2 were shot down before gaining altitude whilst the remaining 3 flew 7 sorties claiming 7-8 Japanese dive bombers.
Airfix 1/72 kit completed by Steve Pulbrook in 2018.