Aviation of World War II

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P-36A "Hawk"



Curtiss P-36A, Langley airfield, 1939

In terms of maximum speed, the fighter surpassed the Seversky R-35 monoplane by 20 km/h, and the pilots noted the simplicity of control and good maneuverability of the aircraft. Positive feedback from the pilots prompted the US Air Force command to reconsider its attitude towards the Hawk 75, and Curtiss received a lucrative order for 210 aircraft under the serial designation P-36A.

They were produced with the R-1830-13 engine with a capacity of 1050 hp, thanks to which the flight characteristics of the fighter were slightly improved.

Serial P-36A (factory index - "Hawk" 75L) began to enter the US Air Corps units in April 1938, and the 20th Fighter Air Group was the first to re-equip with new aircraft. In total, ten American air groups stationed in the United States, as well as in the Hawaiian Islands and in the Panama Canal zone, were equipped with Hawkami. The last 32 cars from the original order, designated R-36S, had a reinforced structure, an R-1830-17 engine with a capacity of 1200 hp. and two additional wing-mounted machine guns of 7.62 mm caliber.

In May 1938, the French delegation signed a contract with Curtiss for the supply of 100 Hawk 75A-1 (N.75A-1) export fighters. They were generally similar to the R-36A, but had an R-1830-SC-G engine with a capacity of 950 hp, four 7.5-mm Browning machine guns in the wing and fuselage, as well as instrumentation calibrated in the metric system. ... The first 18 aircraft arrived in France ready-made, the rest were delivered in boxes and assembled at the SNCAC plant in Bourges. After some time, the French ordered another 100 Hawks 75A-2 with an R-1830-SC3-G engine with a capacity of 1050 hp. and a couple of additional 7.5 mm machine guns in the wing.

In January-April 1940, the French Air Force received another 135 Hawk 75A-3 fighters, identical to the H.75A-2, but equipped with a B-1830-81SZ-S engine (1200hp). The fastest "French" version of the Hawk was the H.75A-4, which developed a speed of 518 km / h at an altitude of 4600 m with the R-1820-G205A Cyclone engine (1200 hp). However, out of 284 ordered aircraft of this modifications, the French received only six cars before the surrender of the country. The rest went to Great Britain.

All American fighters inherited by Great Britain from various series for European countries were called "Mohawk". H-75A-1 was designated "Mohawk" Mk I, H.75A-2 and A-6 - "Mohawk" Mk II, H.75A-3 - "Mohawk" Mk III, and H.75A-4 - "Mohawk" Mk IV. The British rearmed about 200 aircraft received with their 7.7 mm machine guns and installed British sights and equipment on them. "Mohawks" were used in battles mainly in Burma and North Africa.

The Finnish Air Force in June 1941 had eight N.75A-6s from the Norwegian order. In August, the Germans handed over to Finland another 14 Hawks, and in 1943-44 the Finns received another 15 fighters of this type. All 37 aircraft were part of the LeLv 32 group, which fought on the Eastern Front until October 1944. After Finland's withdrawal from the war, some "Hawks" were also used in battles against German troops.

"Hawk-75" Specification
P-36A H.75M H.75A-3
Crew 1
Length, m 8.69 8.72 8.69
Wing span, m 11.38
Wing area,m ² 21.92
Empty weight 2,072 1,805 2,096
Maximum takeoff weight 2,480 2,348 2,726
Maximum speed km/h 483 450 500
at altitude, m 3,000 3,000 3,000
Initial rate of climb, m/s 17.2 11.9 15.5
Service ceiling, m 10,060 9,700 10,000
Service range, km 1,325 880 1,320
Drawing Curtiss Hawk H.75A-3


  • Aircraft of the Second World War. Close reconnaissance and attack aircraft 1939-1945 / Vladimir Kotelnikov /
  • American Warplanes of World War II /under cor. David Donald/