Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA5508 P-40N Kittyhawk FX-835 "No Orchids", 450 Sqn., RAAF, Vasto, Italy, early 1944

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk first flew in 1938 as a modification of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk. Warhawk was the official U.S. designation while the name Tomahawk was used by the British Commonwealth and Soviet forces for the P-40B and C and Kittyhawk for P-40Ds and later variants. The P-40 was first used by British squadrons in North Africa and the Middle East in 1941. The P-40 lacked a two-speed supercharger making them inferior to German aircraft but was an adequate fighter in low altitude combat zones. Almost 12,000 P-40s were produced.

P-40N 43-23933 MSN 31872 was sent to the RAF as Kittyhawk IV FX835 OK-D and operated by the RAAF 450 Squadron. The aircraft was the first of at least 3 aircraft to wear the nose art “No Orchids”. In November 1944 FX835 OK-D was sent to 53 RSU for an overdue major overhaul. With FX835 gone FT881 was given OK-D and “No Orchids” art. In March 1945 OK-D and “No Orchids” was passed on to FX799 that was SOC March 28, 1946.

P-40N SPECIFICATIONS:
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.
PERFORMANCE:
Maximum speed: 362 mph.
Cruising speed: 235 mph.
Range: 850 miles
Ceiling: 30,000 ft.