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Curtiss Hawk 75

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The Hawk 75 fighter was an export version of the P-36 and was sold to a number of countries including China and France. When used by the French Armee de l'Air during the German invasion in May 1940 it proved itself to be a formidable foe against the Bf 109 and a number of French pilots became aces flying the Curtiss Hawk 75.

Quick Facts
Sorry, no image available
First flight
See P-36 Hawk
Entered service
March 1938
Total built
Over 750

Front view
Hawk 75 front view photo
Side view
Hawk 75 side view photo
Rear view
Hawk 75 rear view photo

With their P-36 Hawk prototype flying in May 1935 and three development aircraft being ordered in 1936, Curtiss turned to developing an export version of the aircraft in 1937. Designated the Hawk 75, it was very similar to the P-36.

The Armee de l'Air would place an initial order for 100 Hawk 75A-1s, called the Mohawk Mk I by the Royal Air Force. With December 1938 seeing France receive their first examples and in March 1939 they began to enter Armee de l'Air service. Powered by the 900-hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3-G engine the Hawk 75A-1 had a top speed of 313 mph, range of 825 miles with a service ceiling of 33,700 ft. Armament was four 0.30-in machine-guns, two in the nose and two in the wings and featured retractable undercarriage.

Further orders from France followed for the Hawk 75A-2, Mohawk Mk II in Royal Air Force service, the Hawk 75A-3 and Hawk 75A-4. The former known as the Mohawk Mk III and the latter as the Mohawk Mk IV by the RAF. Although a number of Hawk 75As would be received by the Armee de l'Air before the fall of France in June 1940, further production examples and aircraft that were able to leave France would be sent to the RAF.

Whilst in service with the Armee de l'Air during the Second World War (1939 – 1945) the type would score its first victory on the 8th September 1939, when six Hawk 75As from Groupe de Chasse II/4 engaged in combat with four Messerschmitt Bf 109s, shooting two down. Coming up against the Bf 109, and despite being slower, the Hawk 75 proved a formidable foe and was able to outmanoeuvre its opponent and by the end of the Battle of France (10th May 1940 - 25th June 1940) had scored 230 aerial victories since the war began, losing 29 aircraft during these combats.

The Chinese government would be one of the first countries to buy the new aircraft. Buying not only the demonstration aircraft, but placing an order for 112 during 1938. These aircraft would be known as Hawk 75Ms, they had fixed undercarriage and would be powered by the 1,100-hp Wright R-1820-G205A Cyclone engine. This gave the aircraft a top speed of 280 mph, range of 547 miles with a service ceiling of 31,800 ft. Armament comprised one 0.30-in machine-gun in each wing and two 0.30-in machine-guns in the nose. These aircraft would see service during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 – 1945). The following year, 1939, saw Hawk 75Ns supplied to the Royal Thai Air Force, these aircraft would see action on the 8th December 1941 when Japan invaded Thailand.

The final production version was the Hawk 75O which was for use by Argentina with a total of fifty produced, 20 by Curtiss, including a sole 75H demonstration aircraft, with a further thirty produced under license in Argentina.

Technical Details

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Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Hawk 75A 313 mph 825 miles 33,700 ft four 0.30-in machine-guns
Hawk 75M 280 mph 547 miles 31,800 ft four 0.30-in machine-guns
Hawk 75N Small number of aircraft sold to Thailand.
Hawk 75O 30 exported to Argentina with an additional 20 built under license in Argentina.
Hawk 75Q Two additional demonstration aircraft sent to China.


Click on a photo to view a larger version.
Hawk 75A-1

See This Aircraft

(C) = Cockpit only exhibit. (F) = Fuselage only exhibit. (R) = Remains of an aircraft.

Hawk 75A-1 Imperial War Museum, Duxford

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