The P-40 "Warhawk", at the beginning of WWII was the only really effective fighter the US had in its inventory. While it wasn't one of the fastest, most maneuverable, or the most sleek fighter in the war it was tough. It was alway at a loss when it was up against German fighters, and couldn't compare in performance with the Spitfire and P-51 Mustang, it was all America had at the time. In fact, it was so tough that almost every allied country used it in one form or another, throughout the entire war. If anything could be said about the P-40, it is that it could do its job and get the pilot back alive. That, in my opinion is what makes a fighter plane great. A interesting fact about this plane is that it had different names, depending on the version and which country it served for. The RAF even called the version they got the "Kittyhawk".
Another thing that really made this plane famous is the fact that it was the plane flown by the American Volunteer Group, or the Flying Tigers. This was a group of Americans fighting in China and had great success in the P-40 against the Japanese. They were later absorbed into the USAAF and continued to have remarkable success. The P-40 was used heavily in both the European and Oriental theaters of war. It was tough, adaptable, and while not the fastest, it was effective.
|Power Plant:||1 Allison V-1710 w/ 1,150 hp|
|Length:||31 ft. 9 in.|
|Height:||12 ft. 4 in.|
|Max Weight:||9,100 lbs loaded|
|Max Speed:||362 mph|
|Cruising Speed:||235 mph|
|Armament:||6 .50 cal. machine guns; 700 lbs of bombs|