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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
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First flight
See P-36 Hawk
Entered service
See P-36 Hawk
Total built
See P-36 Hawk

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

Two years after staring development of their P-36 Hawk, Curtiss turned to developing an export version which would be designated the Hawk 75. Despite having a less powerful Wright radial engine fitted the Hawk 75 was very similar to its P-36 relation.

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 and would have a top speed of 280 mph, fixed undercarriage with armament comprising of one machine-gun in each wing and two in the nose. These aircraft would see service during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937 - 1945).

The following year, 1939, saw twenty five Hawk 75Ns supplied to the Thai Air Force. These differed a little to the Hawk 75M and featured an additional two 0.30-in machine-guns and could hold upto 300lb of bombs. This aircraft would see action in the invasion of French Indo-China during January 1941 and then at the end of the year in December when Japan invaded Thailand.

The French Armeede l'air also became a customer with a total of 1,130 ordered, known as 75As, although only 341 would be received before the fall of France with a further 251 which had been produced being sent to the British Royal Air Force and re-named Mohawk. The French version featured re-tractable undercarriage helping the plane achieve a top speed of 322 mph and armament consisted of two 0.50-in machine-guns and four 0.30-in machine-guns. Whilst in service with the French Armee de l'air the Hawk 75 would score its first victory on the 8th September 1939 when aircraft from Groupe de Chasse II/4 shot down a pair of Messerschmitt Bf 109s. This was the first time during the Second World War (1939 – 1945) that an American aircraft shot down a German aircraft.

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 in June 1940 the type had scored 230 victories.

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.

Also see: Curtiss P-36 Hawk



Variants

Click on the aeroplane image to view a larger version.

Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Hawk 75A 322 mph 650 miles 32,350 ft two 0.50-in machine-guns
four 0.30-in machine-guns
Hawk 75B Prototype version with a 850-hp Wright Cyclone R-1820 engine.
Hawk 75D Prototype with a Wright Whirlwind R-1670 engine.
Hawk 75E Pre-production Y1P-36.
Hawk 75H Two export versions with fixed undercarriage.
Hawk 75I Would become the Curtiss YP-37.
Hawk 75J Sole 75A with an external supercharger temporarily added.
Hawk 75K None produced, was to use the 910-hp Pratt & Whitney R-2180 Twin Hornet engine.
Hawk 75M 280 mph 31,800 ft four machine-guns
Hawk 75N Exported to Thailand.
Hawk 75O 30 exported to Argentina with an additional 20 built under license in Argentina.
Hawk 75P Would become the Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk.
Hawk 75Q Two additional demonstration aircraft sent to China.
Hawk 75R 75A fitted with a 900-hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC2-G engine with a turbo supercharger, temporarily.
Hawk 75S Would become the XP-42.



Photos

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



On Display

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

Variant Location
Hawk 75A-1 Imperial War Museum, Duxford

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