The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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National Museum of the USAF
Curtiss P-36C Hawk
|Dimensions||28'10" by 37'9" by 9'6"
8.79m by 11.50m by 2.90m
|Wing area||236 square feet
21.9 square meters
|Maximum speed||300 mph (483 km/h) at 10,000 feet (3050 meters)
272 mph (438 km/h) at sea level
|Cruising speed||200 mph
|Landing speed||75 mph
|Climb rate||47 feet per second
14.3 meters per second
|Service ceiling||33,000 feet
|Power plant||1 1200 hp (895 kW) Pratt and Whitney R-1830-17 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder two-row engine driving a three-blade constant-speed Curtiss propeller.|
|Armament||1 0.50 fixed
cowling machine gun (200 rounds)
1 0.30 fixed cowling machine gun (500 rounds)
2 0.30 fixed wing machine guns (500 rounds)
|Range||670 miles (1080 km) on internal fuel
1010 miles (1630 km) with fuselage tank
|Fuel||87 gallons (320 liters) internal
48 gallons (182 liters) in optional fuselage tank
1424 of all models. 177 P-36A, at least 33 P-36C at Curtiss-Wright Airplanes Division, Buffalo, NY.
The P-36A used a 1050 hp (783 kW) R-1830-13 and lacked the wing guns.
The Hawk 75A used the more powerful R-1830
and was sold in large number, 350 reaching France before the capitulation.
Although a capable aircraft by the standards of 1940, and a thorn in the side of the Japanese in China before the arrival of the Zero, the P-36 Hawk was obsolete by the time war broke out in the Pacific. In particular, its lack of any kind of supercharger greatly limited its high-altitude performance, and its combat radius was only about 225 miles. Its retractable landing gear were excessively complicated to avoid paying royalties on a more modern design.
The design came out of an Army Air Corps
competition to design a modern monoplane fighter. The prototype flew on
15 May 1935, but the Air Force awarded the competition to the P-35 Seversky instead. Curtiss replaced the
with a more powerful Twin Wasp, demonstrating the prototype in February
1937 and winning a production contract shortly after. France ordered a
large number of the Hawk 75A export version, and 350 of these aircraft
claimed 311 Luftwaffe victims in the battle of France. The remainder of
France's order of 620 went to Britain
as the Mohawk.
A number of these aircraft were present in
Hawaii, and the
mainland, and saw some combat, in which they were usually outmatched by
fighter. However, P-36s
claimed two enemy aircraft at Pearl
Peattie et al. (2011)
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