Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Forgotten Hawk, the Curtis P-36 Hawk-75 1939-1944

U.S. Army P-36 with no camoflague, Natural metal and Dark Olive Drab anti glare panel.  Because the Army had evualated the P-36 as not up to part for combat, they relegated the plane to use as a trainer and test bed for camoflague patterns.  The above P-36 was in a training squaqdron which explains the lack of camoflague and the larger markings.

My model of the  Curtis  P-36 Hawk in the paint scheme and markings of the French Air Force 1939.  Academy kit in 1/48 Scale

A second version of experrimental camoflague tested by the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1939
P-36's with experrimental camoflague 1939

Illustration of Experrimental paint scheme, less extreme, using White Orange and Bottle Green on upper and lower surfaces.

Another photo of one of the P-36 Hawks in experrimental camoflague 1939

One variation of the French Camoflague pattern used 1939-1940

Good look at a variation of the French scheme using two tone Brown and Green for upper surfaces, instead of the intermediate Gray.

Variation of standard French camoflague pattern.

Royal Canadian Air Force winter scheme using an intermediate blue gray and dark Olive Drab upper surfaces and light gray lower surfaces.  RCAF used the P-36 mainly as a training plane, although a few saw combat.

RAF Standard markings and camoflague for P-36 Hawk 75 in the CBI theatre 1942-44.  Note that the Red center meatball on the RAF markings has been omitted here, to avoid confusion with enemy aircraft.  Standard RAF camoflague of dark brown, dark olive drab and Sky Blue lower surfaces.

Captured French P-36, sold by Germany to Finland.  Standard German camoflague of Light Olive Drab, Black Green Light Sky Blue and Yellow cowl and lower wing tips.  The Fins used the Hawk 75 against the Russians' who had taken territory from Finland.

There are sources that indicate that an earlier version of the Curtis P-36 served in China between 1939 and 1941, this version had fixed landing gear that did not retract, and one rumor claims that Claire Lee Chennault, the man who formed the Flying Tigers, actually flew this version of the P-36 and had a kill record of around 50 Japanese aircraft by the time he started the Flying Tigers.  However, finding photos or any additional information on P-36's used in China is difficult.