The P-40 was America’s foremost fighter in service when World War II began. P-40s engaged Japanese aircraft during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the invasion of the Philippines in December 1941. They also were flown in China early in 1942 by the famed Flying Tigers and in North Africa in 1943 by the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first African American U.S. fighter unit.
The P-40 served in numerous combat areas: the Aleutian Islands, North Africa, Italy, the Far East, the Southwest Pacific, and some were sent to Russia. Though often outclassed by its adversaries in speed, maneuverability and rate of climb, the P-40 earned a reputation in battle for extreme ruggedness.
At the end of the P-40’s brilliant career, more than 14,000 had been produced. The P-40N was the last production version of the Warhawk and incorporated many design changes to make the aircraft lighter and faster; over 5,200 P-40Ns were built. Thirty P-40Ns, including the aircraft on display, were modified into two-seat conversion trainers by adding a second cockpit behind the pilot. The museum’s aircraft has since been returned to its original single-seat production configuration.
During World War II, Robins Air Force Base served as a logistics support center and depot repair facility for all P-40s assigned in the southeast United States. The aircraft on display was acquired in 1994 and recovered and restored with the help of the 653rd Combat Logistics Support Squadron and the Air Force Reserve. It is marked as a P-40E flown by Colonel Robert L. Scott, Jr., author of the book God is My Copilot and the first commander of the 23rd Fighter Group in China during World War II.
Span: 37 ft. 4 in.
Length: 31 ft. 9 in.
Height: 12 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 9,100 lbs. loaded
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns; 700 lbs. of bombs externally
Engine: Allison V-1710 of 1,150 hp.
Serial Number: 42-105927
Maximum speed: 362 mph.
Cruising speed: 235 mph.
Range: 850 miles
Ceiling: 30,000 ft.