P-40 Memories
by Bill Lyons

My memories of flying the Curtiss P-40 are all from flying it out of Perry, Florida AAF Operational Training (post-Advanced Flight Training as an Aviatioin Cadet and pre-combat flying out of England in P-51's).

I found the P-40 to be a giant step up in terms of speed, power and maneuverability over the Advanced Flight trainer, the AT-6. But I found that flying the P-51 was a major advance upward over the P-40, on all the same accounts. I thought it was wonderful to fly the P-40 until I flew the P-51.

I flew the P-40 with the Allison engine of about 1200 horsepower. The P-51's I flew were powered by the Rolls Royce 1650 HP engine, plus it was a lighter plane (or maybe felt like it because of the greater engine horsepower). In any event, the P-51 was significantly better in performance, and ease and accuracy of maneuver -- to me, at any rate.

Suggest you might check on my view with others who flew both planes.

© Bill Lyons 2007