Civilian Curtis P-40 Kittyhawk
The family of fighter aircraft built by US manufacturer Curtiss is today somewhat unsung, but they made a great contribution to the Allied war effort. The P-40 series - developed through many different versions after the prototype's maiden flight in 1938 - served gallantly in theatres ranging from the heat of North Africa to the bitter cold of the Eastern Front. It was not the most powerful, nor the fastest fighter of its time, but it was rugged and stable, and had excellent low-level performance. Perhaps its most famous use was by the so-called 'Flying Tigers', the 1st American Volunteer Group, in the Chinese theatre, but P-40s notched up countless notable exploits during the Second World War. The ex-Royal Canadian Air Force P-40M attending RIAT 2017 comes from the Hangar 11 Collection, operated by Peter Teichman and based at North Weald, Essex.