Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk
First Flight: 1938
Total Production (All Marks): 13,738
Wingspan: 37 ft 4 in (11.38 m)
Engine: Allison V-12, 1,150 hp
Maximum Speed: 360 mph
About VWC's Kittyhawk:
Manufacturer: Buffalo N.Y.
Serial Number: 399
Current Registration: C-FVWC
Recent Markings: RCAF 260 Squadron honouring Stocky Edwards - Canada's highest scoring living World War II fighter ace
Facts: Operated in New Guinea with 78 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
The Curtiss P-40 was a formidable fighter and ground attack aircraft in the right hands. Employed in theatres from China to New Guinea to the Aleutians to North Africa, P-40 variants had many names including the Tomahawk, Kittyhawk and Warhawk. The Kittyhawk was the name given by British Commonwealth air forces to the P-40E model and subsequent variants.
The P-40 saw action with the Desert Air Force of the RAF in North Africa. Though not a first rate high altitude dogfighter, the Kittyhawk with its long range, bomb load and armour, became a formidable low-level fighter-bomber.
Most know the P-40 as the mount of American General Clair Chenault's Flyng Tigers operating in China against the Japanese at the outset of the war. But, one of the greatest P-40 pilots anywhere was Canada's own W/C James "Stocky" Edwards who flew hundreds of successful Kittyhawk missions with 260 Squadron in the North African campaign. Edwards used his underrated Kittyhawk to shoot down Luftwaffe ace Otto Schulz, one of the most skilled pilots flying a supposed superior aircraft - the Messerschmitt Bf-109F. To honour this great Canadian pilot, the Vintage Wings of Canada P-40 is painted in the exact Desert Air Force markings of Edwards' 260 Squadron Kittyhawk.
Operator: Vintage Wings of Canada