Century Collection: Curtiss P-40 Warlock fighter aircraft framed photograph
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The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. P-40 Warhawk was the name the United States Army Air Corps gave the plane, and after June 1941, USAAF adopted the name for all models, making it the official name in the U.S. for all P-40s. Design work on the P-40 began in 1937, but numerous experimental versions were tested and refined before service deliveries began in September 1940. P-40s first saw wartime service with the British Commonwealth squadrons of the Desert Air Force in August 1941. Unable to outperform the top Japanese and German fighters of the day, the Warhawk’s tough build and good diving performance made it an effective warfighter. In 1941, the American Volunteer Group “the Flying Tigers” began combat operations in China against Japanese forces. In little more than six months, the Tigers shot down 229 Japanese aircraft and destroyed scores more on the ground.