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Friday, August 31, 2012

Calendar Plane of the Month July: Curtiss Hawk 81-A-2



Agent Triple P has not been keeping up with our regular posts due to the Olympics and our new job but we will attempt to catch up in the next two weeks or so.

July's Airfix plane is the iconic 1st American Volunteer group (Flying Tigers) version of the P 40 Curtiss Hawk, known as the model 81 for the export market. The ones used by the Flying Tigers in China in 1942 were originally destined for the RAF so were painted as such.


Flying Tigers in 1942


The distinctive shark mouth on these planes, which went on to have a long life amongst US aircraft until low visibility colour schemes put paid to them, were actually copied by US pilots who had seen them on RAF 112 Squadron P40 Tomahawks in North Africa.  The RAF pilots had, in turn, copied these from Messerschmitt 110s of  Zerstörer Geschwader 76 flying out of Crete.




The shark mouth design was used for the underrated film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, although the plane used was a model 87 Kittyhawk as used by the RAF in North Africa in 1943.  




This is a new (2011) kit and like most produced since Airfix were taken over by Hornby, has had good reviews.  1:72 is too small for Triple P these days.  If it had been 1:48 we might have been tempted!

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