P-40 Parts - part 1
by Dan Collier

Being a P-40-owner-wannabe, I know I'll never be able to afford a real P-40. But I collect parts when I see them and can AFFORD them. I'm attaching some photos from my P-40 junk pile.

Here's a corner of my room, which sorta looks like a P-40 shrine of some sort, eh?

This badly rusted P-40 ring sight came from Papua, New Guinea, and so it no doubt has some wartime history behind it. If it could only talk! The sellor was a recently-divorced woman who lived with her husband in New Guinea and he was an aircraft-recoverer over there. She said he also had a P-38 project he recovered from New Guinea.

It would be relatively easy to make one of these, and I've taken the time to measure it all out, and draw up a set of plans.

Here's a photo of my P-40N armor plate. Currently I'm looking for the proper seat that mounts directly to those four pictured tabs. The earlier P-40 seats were mounted on rails that allowed the seats to move vertically up and down by releasing a lever on the right-hand side of the seat. The armor plating pictured had a narrower seat with a squared-off backrest top, and the seat didn't have rails. The seat for this P-40N plating was moved vertically up and down by unbolting it from the armor plating and raising or lowering it manually, then resecuring with the four nuts and bolts.

This plating is very heavy. I think it was 100 pounds when it was weighed by the shipper.

I have enough cockpit parts to make a good start on a mock-up P-40 cockpit project. I only found out recently that later P-40's used wooden seats. I learn something new everyday!

As the war progressed, and the U.S. was looking for ways to conserve their war-asset materials, many of the later P-40's and other aircraft resorted to using wooden seats, rather than aluminim or stainless-steel ones. Here are some photos of a wooden seat as used by the later model P-40's. Then the pattern was switched again later in N models when their wooden seats had a square back, were narrower than the previous, and were manually adjusted with mounting bolts for the height comfort of the pilot.

This one pictured is in sore need of a good rebuild. Maybe someday I'll get around to it.......However, I'd gladly trade it for the proper, later model wooden P-40N seat that I can mount to my armor plate display. Anyone out there with the later wooden seat?

The later N models also used a wooden seat, but it had a squared-off back and was a little narrower. I'm looking for one to attach to my N armor plating. So much to do, so little time.

I have all three canopy sections for the N model, but don't have the room in my home to display it all. Altogether, the three pieces measure 8 feet long. I was thinking of making a display case out of these parts.

We have two cats, and they're both very curious and exploritive. The colored one is named Patches, and the white one is Missy. They took turns exploring this strange glass object.

I have a throttle quadrant here that I believe is from a P-40, but I'm not sure which model it may be. It has all the classic markings and wordings of a P-40 quadrant, but the mixture-setting boxed markings are spaced just a little different from what I usually see in references. (It cleaned up nicely after I took these photos.) You can see that this is clearly a P-40 quad. But the black spacing between the IDLE CUT OFF and AUTO LEAN is a little wider than what I normally see in references, and to make up for that wider space, the black space between AUTO RICH and FULL RICH settings is narrower than usual. In references, I've seen quads with three different space patterns, other than that, they're all identical in markings and wording.. And, some P-40 quads I've seen in wartime photos have the friction lock wheels, while others didn't. I've seen a quad with mixture setting spaces identical to mine in that wartime color training film on the P-40F, which is a common film to find today on DVD's. But that quad in the film also has two additional levers, for the boost control and the supercharger, and mine doesn't have those two extra levers.

The P-40 came out with many different Allison models, and a couple of Merlin engines on the F's and L's, and probably several different carburetors. I suspect the carb model would have a direct affect on the mixture setting spacing on the quad, but that's a guess. I've also looked at other fighter and advanced trainer quads, and none of them look anything like a P-40 quad.. They all are unique unto their own plane designs.

Is there anyone out there who can tell which P-40 model this quad may have came from??

Part 2

© Dan Collier 2009