Curtiss Hawk P-75 A-2


Model review

The modell is built from the Hobbycrafts kit which overall seems to be good enough, there's only few faults that requires repairing. The upper side of the nose just front of the cocpit has a wrong shape and it has to raise up little towards the cocpit and to the sides has to mould foulds. The shape of the wingtips is also wrong, if you look from above, the tip of the wing is too round. From front the upperside of the wing tips must be straight line when the underside curves upwards.

I replased the pilots seat to Eduards metallic one, while other parts of the cocpit came from the kit. The canopy was moulded too thick and it didn't fit well, so I used Falcon's canopy instead. Unfortunately it didn't include the "rear windows" at all, so you had to make them by yourself. (They should be curved like the fuselage, but I made them of a straight sheet ).

In addition to this "renovation" there is a plenty of other smaller details to add and many details also recuires fixing. The kit includes also Cyclone engine, so it is possible to build also this version of Finnish Air Force plane if you want. I used XtraColors Finnish Air Force colors, the yellow was Humbroll 69. The decals came from InScale72:s Curtiss sheet. Under the roundels I added white bottoms to prevent gleaming. I made them by overspraying roundels from other sheet I have aqcuired.

History

The prototype of the plane was designed as a result of a fighter desing competition in 1935 in the USA. Don Berlin was the main designer of the plane. The serial production planes got marking P-36A. They entered in service in 1936 in USA . The export modell was Hawk 75A. The first and the biggest buyer was France. Other customers were Norway, China, Netherlans East-India and Persia. The rest 200 planes that was sold to France went to England after Germany had occupyed France. Curtiss P-36 and Hawk 75 series planes were produced 1021 in all.

In the spring 1941 Finland bought aeroplanes from Germany, which it had captured when it occupied France and Norway. The commerce included among other things 29 Curtiss fighters. In the year 1943 Finland bought 15 planes more from Germany, so in all Finish Air Force have had 44 planes in service. At the beginning the planes served in Reconnaissance Squadrons (TLeLv) 12 and 14, but the planes were ordered to Fighter Squadron (LeLv) 32. It was based at Utti and Lappeenranta and was ordered to protect Finnish ground troops in the eastern part of Karelia Isthmus.

In September 1941 the squadron flew to Suulajärvi. At the end of October 1941 a section with eight planes was ordered to support the battle in Hanko encirclement, planes were based at Nummela air strip. The squadron was based at Nurmoila in Aunus Isthmus between May 1941 to June 1944. The planes were used after the war in Fighter Squadrons (HLeLv) 11 and 13 and in the Fighter Trainig School (Ilmasotakoulu). Curtiss Hawk P-75A was considered in Finland in 1941/42 as outdated and 100-150 km/h too slow fighter.

Its advantages were agility and good flying caracteristics and it was also a robust machine. Curtiss Hawks, nicnamed "Sussu", gained 190 confirmed kills in Finnish Air Force, and the major success of the type took place in the hands of Finnish pilots. The top scorers with Curtiss P-75 were ltn. K Tervo ( 15 3/4 ), vänr. K. Karhila ( 13 1/4 ) ja ltm. E Koskinen (11 1/3). The "White one", CU-551 operated in July 1943 at Nurmoila air strip. In LeLv 32 CU-551 achieved 10 1/3 kills of which 3 1/3 was shot by ltm. Eino Koskinen.

Technical Data of Curtiss Hawk P-75 A-2

Engine 1065 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC-G (SC3-G) Twin Wasp air cooled radial engine
Dimensions span 11,37 m; lenght 8,79 m; wing area 21,92 m2
Weights empty 2266 kg kg; max. take off 2680 kg
Performance Max. speed 430 km/h (measured in Finland)
Armament 2 x 12,7 mm Colt mg in fuselage, 4 x 7,7 mm Browning mg in wings (from 1942 also other variations)
Production 1021 (Curtiss P-36 ja Hawk 75 )

Sources
Lentäjän näkökulma II, Jukka Raunio; SIH 5: Hawk 75 A ja P-40 M, Keskinen, Stenman, Niska; Internet

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