P-35, U.S. Fighter

Photograph of a P-35 in flight

National Museum of the USAF

Seversky P-35A


Crew 1
Dimensions 36' by 26'10" by 9'9"
10.97m by 8.18m by 2.97m
Wing area 220 square feet
20.4 square meters
Weight 4575-6723 lbs
2075-3050 kg
Maximum speed       290 mph at 12,000 feet
467 km/h at 3700 meters
Cruise speed 220 mph
354 km/h
Landing speed 81 mph
130 km/h
Climb rate 32 feet per second
9.8 meters per second
Service ceiling 31,400 feet
9600 meters
Power plant 1 1050 hp (783 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-9 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engine driving a three-bladed Hamilton Standard constant-speed propeller.
Armament 2 0.50 fixed nose machine guns
2 0.30 fixed wing machine guns
External stores 350 lbs (159 kg) of bombs
Range 521 nautical miles (965 km) on internal fuel
826 nautical miles (1530 km) with 350 lbs (159 kg) bombs and drop tanks
Fuel 130-200 gallons
490-760 gallons
Production 76 P-35, 60 P-35A at Seversky Aircraft Corporation, Farmingdale, NY.
Variants The original P-35 lacked the wing guns, and one of the cowling guns was a 0.30 machine gun.

Another plane that had reached obsolescence by the outbreak of war, the P-35 was Seversky's response to a 1935 design competition. Designed at the same time that Britain was introducing the Hurricane, the Seversky entry was originally an unimaginative conversion of the Sev-3 two-seater commercial aircraft. However, the prototype suffered engine failure on its delivery flight, and Seversky took the opportunity to completely redesign the second prototype, with a sound monocoque structure and retracting landing gear. However, the aircraft remained inferior in performance to contemporary British designs. The Air Corps officer in charge of fighter development at the time, Ben Kelsey, later described the P-35 as a mistake (Bodie 1991).

The P-35 lacked pilot armor and self-sealing fuel tanks, and the 48 that were assigned to the Philippines were shot to ribbons within a few days. Only two were still airworthy eight days after the attack on Clark Field.


Bodie (1991)

Gunston (1986)

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