The P-36 Hawk, or Model 75, was a US fighter aircraft manufactured by Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Entering service with the US Army Air Corps in 1938, it received its baptism of fire in May 1940, during the Battle of France, but in service with the French Air Force. It was also used by the British RAF, the Finnish, the Chinese and the Argentinean air forces. During World War II, the Curtiss P-36 saw limited combat action with the US Air Force. However, it was widely used by Allied forces. In 1940, during the German invasion of France, many P-36s were shot down by the faster and more powerful German fighter, the Messerschmitt Bf 109.
The P-36 Hawk was a single-seat, single-engine monoplane, fitted with conventional, straight, low wings and retractable landing gear. It was powered by one Pratt & Whitney R1830, air-cooled, radial engine, that generated 1050 horsepower. Although it had the same rate of climb as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 (17 m/s), it was much slower and with a weaker fuselage, but it had a tight-turning capability, good operational range and dive speed, though. The P-36 would be replaced by the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk in service with the US Air Force.
Wingspan: 37′ 4″ (11.4 m)
Length: 28′ 6″ (8.7 m)
Height: 8′ 5″ (2.6 m)
Maximum speed: 313 mph (500 km/h)
Range: 625 miles (1006 km/h)
Weapons: one 7.62mm M1919 Browning machine gun and one 12.7mm (.50) M2 Browning machine gun