Special Hobby 1/72 P40N Warhawk Fighter Kit
The P-40 was an evolutionary development from the Curtiss drawing boards which started with the Model 75. Curtiss' Model 75 created the basic wing and fuselage that would distinguish this unique family but equipped with a radial engine, this prototype would lead to the earlier P-36 Hawk. As engine technology continued, an Allison V1710 liquid-cooled engine was mounted on the firewall, and the resulting streamlined cowling led to the now-familiar P-40 silhouette.
The P-40E was a further development based on combat experience and was the second most produced variant of the Curtiss P-40 family (with the P-40N taking top honors in this category). The P-40E incorporated six 50 caliber machine guns in the wings as well as the modified fuselage of the P-40D.
The P-40K was the next step in the line for the Allison-powered P-40 line featuring the same fuselage initially, but yaw instability led to the P-40K-5 with additional area added to the vertical stabilizer, but when this didn't solve the yaw problem, the fuselage was lengthened with the P-40K-15. This lengthened fuselage would be the key improvement that would remain with future Warhawks. The P-40L was the first attempt to create a lighter version of the P-40 by reducing the number of guns from six to four, and reducing internal fuel to 120 gallons.
The P-40M was the final step in this design track, featuring additional power and engineering improvements. The P-40N was the ultimate P-40 to enter service (the P-40Q was really the ultimate version, but this was never put into production). The P-40N was a development of the P-40L that retained most of the weight saving measures adopted in the P-40L, but added a more powerful engine (in later blocks) and a redesigned rear canopy and fuel tank cover to significantly improve rearward visibility.