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Curtiss XP-42

United States (1939)
Picture of Curtiss XP-42 Prototype Fighter Aircraft
Picture of Curtiss XP-42 Prototype Fighter Aircraft Picture of Curtiss XP-42 Prototype Fighter Aircraft
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The Curtiss XP-42 was a further development of the P-36 product, though it lost out to the XP-40 after competition trials.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Curtiss XP-42 Prototype Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/26/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Curtiss XP-42 was a further development of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk model though it would share some initial outward similarities to Curtiss' most well known aircraft - the P-40 Warhawk. Later in its development, the XP-42 would see a series of changes that would liken it back to its P-36 roots. The system was modified from a P-36A and given the S/N of 38-004 and was featured in a series of tests designed to reduce drag qualities of radial piston engines. As such, this P-36A featured a redesigned nose and an entirely new powerplant operating a three-blade propeller.

The aircraft featured an air scoop under the engine while the carburetor scoops were mounted at top. In an interesting design feature, a long shaft was developed to properly reach and drive the propeller system. The resulting aircraft proved to be faster than the P-36A but it also faced cooling issues for the engine, serious vibration problems inherent in the propeller shaft system and the XP-42 would never prove faster than the P-40. As a result, the XP-42 gave way to the P-40 Warhawk series of aircraft, which would nab the available Army production orders and become one of America's classic warfighters of its time.

Only a single P-36A was modified as an XP-42. The system was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial series engine generating an impressive 1,050 horsepower. The system was crewed by one personnel and the entire project was officially ended by 1947, to which the aircraft was scrapped for parts.


Picture of the Curtiss XP-42 Prototype Fighter Aircraft
Picture of the Curtiss XP-42 Prototype Fighter Aircraft



Any available statistics for the Curtiss XP-42 Prototype Fighter Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (250mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Curtiss XP-42's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1939
Type: Prototype Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Curtiss - USA
Production: 1
Global Operators:
United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Curtiss XP-42 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
28.22 ft


Meters
8.6 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
37.07 ft


Meters
11.3 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.20 ft


Meters
2.5 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
4,817 lb


Kilograms
2,185 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
5,648 lb


Kilograms
2,562 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-31 radial engine developing 1,050 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
250 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
402 kph


Knots
217 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
830 mi


Kilometers
1,336 km


Nautical Miles
721 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
37,198 ft


Meters
11,338 m


Miles
7.05 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
2 x 7.62mm machine guns above nose section
Variants: Series Model Variants
• P-36A - Initial Model on which the XP-42 was based on.
• Model 75S - Curtiss Company Model Designation
• P-42 - Base Model Series Designation
• XP-42 - USAAC Designation