|This page is about the American fighter P-40F-10. For other versions, see P-40 (Family). For other uses, see P40 (Disambiguation).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Allison engine found in many P-40 variants severely limited the Warhawks' capabilities. It lacked a supercharger gear for high-altitude performance and was overall lacklustre compared to other engines. To remedy that, a P-40D was fitted with a Merlin engine in 1941. It produced around 1,300 hp and would later lead to the P-40F. The P-40F was largely the same as the previous variant but the Packard-built Merlin engine immensely increased the Warhawk's capability. It was better suited at high altitudes, the range was far better, and overall performance was increased. Over 1,300 P-40Fs were built and some were exported to the Royal Air Force.
The P-40F-10 Warhawk was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X". The new Packard-built Merlin engine greatly increases the Warhawk's ability to fight at higher altitudes. It still retains many of the same elements as the previous Warhawk variants. There are two ways to visually distinguish a P-40F from other variants: the P-40F lacks the upper air intake found on Allison-powered Warhawks and the fuselage was lengthened to accommodate the extra torque produced by the Merlin engine. Overall, the P-40F is a general improvement to the Warhawk family.
With the new features present on this plane, it now has a decent performance at high altitudes, as well as a superb diving capability while maintaining the ability to stand its ground in a dogfight, but not being the best at.
With a rather average climb ratio this plane will be able to reach 5,000 m in about 4 to 5 minutes, at that altitude it will maintain a decent straight-line acceleration and won't reach performance limits until 5,600 m. Above that altitude both the engine power and surfaces control will continuously decrease.
This plane has a good dive speed acceleration and it can also bear high maximum speeds, giving it a good Boom and Zoom ability. It will be able to get out of a dive if pulled up at a maximum speed between 740 km/h and 760 km/h, although surfaces control will begin to decrease at 725 km/h, making it harder to adjust the direction.
When turn fighting, the P-40 will show its best turn ratio and manoeuvrability at 450 km/h; and if needed, combat flaps can be safely used at this speed to provide a slight boost. However, once it begins to lose speed, two problems will appear. First, it will begin to lose rudder stability, meaning that movement on the plane's vertical axis (yaw) will get unstable and sluggish, thus becoming harder to get guns on target. Second, the plane's turn ratio will begin to worsen once the speed drops below 350 km/h.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,029 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 420||< 380||< 420||> 340|
Survivability and armour
- Armour plates
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass in front of pilot.
- 3 mm Steel plate in front of oil cooling system.
- 8 mm Steel plate behind the pilot.
- Critical components
- All critical components are located on the central airframe:
- Self-sealing fuel tanks are located behind and under the pilot seat.
- Engine and cooling systems are at the front of the plane.
- Traction cables of control surfaces are in the tail section.
- Except for the armament, there are no critical modules in the wings.
- The wings can take a good amount of damage from MGs, except the tip that is easily blown off.
- 20 mm ammunition will severe any wing clean.
Modifications and economy
The P-40F-10 is armed with:
- 6 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (281 rpg = 1,686 total)
1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
The P-40F-10 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (200 lb total)
- 1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb (500 lb total)
- 1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb + 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (700 lb total)
Usage in battles
The P-40F-10 performs similarly to the P-40E-1, although it is neither as fast (at lower altitudes) nor as good at turning. Although this is compensated with the new Merlin engine, providing a better performance at higher altitudes, as well as the re-designed tail section, which allows a better elevator control at higher speeds, making it a very competitive aircraft when using Boom and Zoom tactics. It can also take a good amount of machine gun hits while keeping the critical modules safe; however, cannons will pose a more serious threat specially if they hit the wings. This aircraft comes too with a good fire power, which considering all the characteristics listed previously, allows for the pilot to choose from different tactics as well as objectives when engaging enemy aircraft.
At the start of a match it's advised to reach and altitude of 4,500 m to 5,000 m, for this WEP can be used, shallowly side climbing at a 20° angle, up to 3,500 m, then reducing throttle to 100% and a 17° angle (to avoid engine overheating) until the desired altitude is reached. Once up there start heading towards a more central map position, while keeping it leveled off in order to regain speed.
Up here, enemy bombers will either be at the same altitude or lower. Packing 6 x 12.7 mm machine guns, the P-40 usually deals fatal damage to enemy bombers in only one pass, either destroying the wings or setting them on fire; making them a good target to aim for when in the air. Therefore, if any enemy bomber, or group of bombers are spotted nearby, it's a good decision to attack them. Just keep in mind to check the surroundings as you don't want to get jumped on by a group of enemy fighters while attacking their bombers.
Taking advantage of the P-40F-10 capabilities, there are three ways in which you can attack enemy fighters. According to the situation, you should either:
- Boom and Zoom: If you spot any enemy below you, take advantage of this plane's high maximum speed in a dive and use Boom and Zoom tactics; basically diving on them, start shooting once you are in range of your chosen gun convergence distance, as this will concentrate the most fire power on the center of the enemy plane, and then climb back regaining the lost altitude. Your plane can safely pull out of a dive at a maximum speed of 750 km/h; however, if you are aiming for a plane that's dogfighting an ally or has seen you before you opened fire, keep in mind that if you're going faster than 725 km/h the rudder as well as the aileron's control will begin to stiffen up, making it harder to follow the enemy plane's movements. To counter this, you can zoom back with the throttle set to 0% to lose some speed or, if the enemy hasn't noticed you yet, you can loop around in a horizontal axis every time you are going faster than your desired speed, until you reach your target.
- Dogfight: If a dogfight approach is taken, this plane is able to outturn most axis fighters, except for Japanese ones. However, this will be relative to your energy state, since the performance of the P-40 will begin to decrease when going below a certain speed; therefore, it's recommended to first engage while going at around 500 km/h, this will provide you with the longest time before the aircraft's performance drops. Keep in mind that the plane will show its best turn ratio at about 450 km/h. Take advantage of the strong fire power of your aircraft to end these dogfights as soon as possible, and unless there are allies around to support you or the enemy aircraft is clearly more sluggish than yours at low speeds, do not stay in a dogfight if your speed goes below 300 km/h; you will notice that your turn ratio will get worse and the rudder control will become unstable. If you end up in this situation, the best decision would be to break from the dogfight, get some distance from the enemy and either: engage again if you have enough speed, this time with a Boom and Zoom mindset, or if the enemy is following and reaching you, force the enemy into scissors.
- Boom and Run: Using this tactic is only viable if their is no dangerous enemy. This can be used to take out lower altitude planes, or ground targets. With the F-10 variant, this will throw out the altitude advantage and the improved high altitude, that is necessary to the P-40. If caught, try to either gain altitude, or make him overshoot and shred him to pieces with your armament. If you fail to do either, and it turns into a dogfight, try to run from the fight and set them up for a Boom and Zoom attack, or if you don't have enough speed force them into scissors.
The P-40 can be used for BnZ fighting, bomber hunting and ground pounding in Sim. It is a decent plane with distinct pros and cons. Its heavy firepower of 6 x 12.7 mm MGs can critically damage the enemy and rip it apart. It has great dive speed and decent level speed, capable of outrunning slower opponents. However, it is a nose-heavy plane so unlike other planes, the P-40 has to trim the elevators upwards. It has quite limited visibility with lots of canopy frames and a razorback design. The P-40's over-the-nose visibility is one of the worst due to its big, long engine, and the small intake on top of the cowling, making leading very hard. Moreover, its engine tends to overheat frequently even with 95% throttle, meaning you have to cut throttle a lot to avoid damaging the engine.
Before entering a battle, it is recommended to set keybinds for trimming and vertical head movements to improve the forward visibility a bit. Take at least 30 minutes of fuel. Set the convergence between 250-500 m, with vertical targeting on.
The general tactics remain the same as above: BnZ the enemies. However against bombers, utilise deflection shooting instead of leading the shot like in realistic.
For ground pounding, the P-40 can carry a bomb payload of 2 x 100 lb or 1 x 500 lb or 2 x 100 lb + 1 x 500 lb (700 lb), making it a decent ground attack fighter for its rank. The Ground Targets belt for the .50 cals allow the P-40 to rip apart enemy AAA, Pillboxes, and even most German/Japanese light tanks. Pz.IIs, BT-5 and BT-7, Chi-Has, etc. can all be torn to shreds with the .50 cals, primarily from the side and top. The P-40 will wobble a lot (sideways mainly) so you must get used to smoothing the plane down in order to hit ground targets.
Manual Engine Control
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Pros and cons
- Good survivability
- Can outrun most on-tier vehicles in a straight-line path
- Good energy retention in a dive
- Better performance at mid to high speeds
- Effective armament with a relatively large ammo pool
- Engine is prone to overheating
- Like the previous iteration of the P-40, does not do well in a turn fight
- Sub-par climb rate
- Rather unstable in pitch axis in SB
- Extremely bad visibility over the nose in SB
Although early P-40s were equipped with one of the most powerful inline engines available to the American aircraft industry at the time, it quickly became apparent that even that wasn't enough. Due to its advanced and robust design, it's no secret that the P-40 was a relatively heavy aircraft for its type, resulting in power-to-weight issues which would never be fully solved. Nonetheless, Curtiss engineers continued tweaking and improving the design in all aspects, trying to lessen the drawbacks of high weight and insufficient power.
In 1940, the American Packard Motor Car Company acquired a licence to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, in an effort to satisfy the growing demand of the British aviation industry. Additionally, the licence gave American engineers access to a more powerful engine at a time where similar U.S. engines were not available. Naturally, Curtiss engineers didn't waste any time outfitting the P-40 with the brand new licence-built Merlin engine, resulting in the creation of the P-40F. Besides the internal engine upgrade, some external changes were also applied to the aircraft. For instance, the tail section of the fuselage was lengthened in an effort to counter the negative effects of strong engine torque on take-off and landing experienced on earlier modifications. With the changes applied, serial production of the new P-40F was scheduled to begin in 1942. As the British and Commonwealth air forces were particularly keen on a Merlin-engined P-40 variant, they were also the first ones to receive the new P-40Fs as early as summer of the same year.
Despite the British and Commonwealth forces receiving the P-40Fs first, the majority of the 1,300 manufactured machines served with units of the USAAF in the Mediterranean theatre. By the end of the Mediterranean campaign in late 1943, the P-40F had successfully proven the value of the applied changes by presenting itself as a more than capable air superiority fighter, when matched up against previously superior Axis counterparts such as the Bf 109F/G and M.C. 202/205. During its service in the Mediterranean, experienced pilots, applying the right tactics showed that the Warhawk could no longer be considered the underdog, but instead an equal at very least.
Interesting: The Soviet Union received P-40 fighters under the lend-lease program; they were considered to be aircraft with medium efficiency but were quite durable. Lieutenant Alexei Khlobystov in one battle conducted two successful rams and after that encounter, the pilot and his "Kittyhawk" returned to the airfield!
- From Devblog
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- [Devblog] Curtiss P-40F: The Mediterranean Angel of Death
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
- [Wikipedia] Curtiss P-40 Warhawk variants
- [Forum] What are your thoughts? - P-40F-10 Warhawk
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|P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10|
|Bombers||SB2C-1C · SB2C-4|
|Export||H-75A-1 · H-75A-4 · H-81A-2 · ▂P-40E-1 · ␗P-40E-1 · ▄P-40F-5 Lafayette · CW-21 · Hawk III|
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