The Curtiss P-40 was a development of the radial engined P-36/Hawk 75. The prototype XP-40 was a converted P-36A with the R-1830 replaced with an Allison V-1710-19 liquid cooled V-12. First flown in October 1938, the P-40 was evaluated at Wright Field in May 1939 resulting in an order for 524 aircraft.
This P-40E has undergone a 21 month restoration. Originally restored in the early 1980’s it was badly damaged in a forced landing in 1996. Stored for some time, it was initially purchased by Dick Thurman and subsequently sold to Tony Banta. Restoration was begun in June 2000 and it flew again on the 24th March 2002. The aircraft has made its debut at the ‘Warbirds Over Wanaka’ 2002 airshow.