Curtiss Tomahawk IIB was the British name given to the Curtiss P-40C, the second version of the P-40 manufactured for the United States Army Air Corps. They looked the same as the earlier P-40B but had self sealing tanks which made them heavier and slightly reduced their performance.
The Tomahawk was not considered suitable for combat in European theatres as it had been optimised for combat below 15,000 feet whereas combat was most often at up to 30,000 ft over Britain.
In North Africa most combat was at lower altitudes so Tomahawks were fairly well matched against the German and Italian fighters they fought against there.
The improved Tomahawk IIB had several minor improvements over the Tomahawk IIA which included an improved radio and provision for a drop tank.
194 were made for the United States Army Air Corps, 930 for the RAF and a further100 for the American Volunteer Group in China.
This model represents a Tomahawk IIb flown by Pilot Officer Neville Duke, 112 Squadron RAF at Fort Maddalena, Lybia in 1941.
Data: Engine one Allison V-1710-33 V-12 liquid cooled piston engine of 780 kW. Wing span 11.36m. Length 9.66m. Maximum take-off weight 3,862kg. Maximum speed 538km/h. Range 1,150 km. Armament two .50cal and four .30cal machine guns. Crew one.
Airfix 1/72 kit completed by Steve Pulbrook in 2020.