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"P-40B/C" Topic

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fozzybear18 Apr 2014 11:10 p.m. PST

Flight of fancy here (no pun intended) so please bare with me .. The P-40B/C is one of my favorite aircraft, they just look awesome to me. But it seems they had much more potential then was explored. I know that Curtis had a few experimental turbo/supercharged P-40's And it seemed to work well on the P-38's Allison plants, but they were too large for the small airframe.
But it seems to me that the technology was there, a dual stage blower similar to the Packard/Merlin, fuel injection (available on the late model P-26's)get up to say 1500 hp maybe? remove the nose .50's to make room, go to 6 .50's in the wings as on later models. better laid out more efficient oil coolers and radiators and the over all shape of the B model could have been kept, and have had a plane that could tangle on equal terms with Spits and 109's of the time. What do you think?

inverugie19 Apr 2014 2:15 p.m. PST

Didn't happen; doesn't matter.

fozzybear19 Apr 2014 9:37 p.m. PST

Thank you Captain fun kill.

BW195921 Apr 2014 7:57 p.m. PST

Curtis had some cool looking aircraft, I always liked the P-55 Ascender


It had the Alison V-1710 at 1275hp and could reach speeds of 390mph.

Also agree that the P-40B looked better than the later marks

Lion in the Stars22 Apr 2014 7:07 p.m. PST

@fozzybear: the problem was that the USAAC/USAAF preferred turbos. Up until the Brits stuffed a Merlin into the Mustang, anyway.

The Navy is the force that liked their superchargers, and the Navy didn't like liquid-cooled engines.

fozzybear23 Apr 2014 8:22 p.m. PST

understood and interesting. I know the p-40 could only be made "so good" .. my musing comes simply from loving the was a P-40 looks lol and wondering … how good can you make THAT aircraft .. with in reason.

fozzybear29 Apr 2014 5:29 p.m. PST

way … the WAY .. a P-40C .. looks … oops

FML ONeil17 May 2015 7:54 p.m. PST

Note that even with the engine from the Mustang, the P-40 was slower and shorter ranged. It was an older design, had a lot of drag producing bits and wasn't worth the effort to update. Don't get me wrong, the P-40 did yeoman service and was better than many understand in the early war period. But it's time had come by 1943. By the time you fixed all that needed fixing, a clean start was cheaper.
This also applies to the Gent who wanted to slap an R-2000 in the P-36 and make a wunder-weapon … 1500HP wasn't going to cure it's ills and make it something it wasn't. It is seldom just an issue of more power alone.

Mark 119 May 2015 2:44 p.m. PST

It was an older design, had a lot of drag producing bits and wasn't worth the effort to update.

Despite it's cool looks, this statement rings true for the poor P-40. It may have had a shark's nose, but it had the wings of a blowfish.

Remember that the Hurricane carried the same engine as the early marks of the Spitfire. But the Hurricane airframe did not bring anywhere near the same results as the Spitfire airframe.

The Hurricane AND the P-40 shared a similar wing cross section -- thicker than the faster planes, and with the thickest part well forward. Such wings are good for generating lift, but NOT good for generating speed! You get planes that are more maneuverable at lower speeds -- good for you if you don't have the horsepower to get to higher speeds, but a real disadvantage if you DO have the horsepower to get to higher speeds, because even with the horsepower you won't GET to those higher speeds.

The key advantages of the early war fighters that stayed current to the end of the war (the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt) was their wing design. Even the Spitfire's wing was thick by later war standards. Over time the Spit's wing got some re-designing.

The Mustang's wing was entirely different, and one of the great and innovative aspects of that plane. Not only was it relatively thin, but it's thickest point was well back from the leading edge. With the same engine the Mustang would out-perform most any other peer-era fighter in top speed, zoom performance, and sustained turn at speed. Much of this (not all, but much) was due to the wing, which generated a lot LESS lift per MPH of airspeed, but could go to higher speeds where it could still generate lots of lift due to the higher volume of air flowing over the wing.

At least that's what my readings have shown me. I've never flown in any of those birds, so it's all based just on reading…

(aka: Mk 1)

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