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