Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hello My Lovely

The biggest surprise of the 2015 Chino airshow was the first public appearance of Curtiss P-36C Hawk 38-210/NX80FR.  This restoration project had been kept amazingly secret until it was revealed on Facebook on the Thursday before the show.  No question that seeing the P-36 fly was the highlight of my trip and a very pleasant shock.

Hawk 38-210 was the final P-36C built for the USAAC and delivered to the 27 Pursuit Squadron at Selfridge Field, Michigan in May 1939.  The P-36 was among the aircraft flown at the Cleveland Air Races in September 1936 in temporary camouflage.

Apparently, after being struck off strength by the USAAF, the P-36 was acquired by a Pratt and Whitney technical instructor from Canada.  Stored in Canada for many years, it was later sold to a Florida collector.  The Hawk was purchased by the Fighter Collection over a decade ago and held in storage until restoration commenced four years ago.  Beautifully restored by Matt Nightingale in its original 27th PS Squadron markings, the aircraft is headed to Duxford and should appear at Flying Legends.

Modeler's Note: The best 1/72 kit of the P-36 was issued by Monogram sometime in the 1960s. Though lacking in detail, the kit is a little gem.  Detail can be improved by using the Starfighter resin cockpit and wheel well set.  (Starfighter also has two P-36 decals sheets available.) Revell had their own Hawk kit which has been sold as both a Hawk 75A and P-36, but also reboxed the Monogram kit at least once as a Hawk 75.  AML had a series of limited run Hawk 75s which look nice in the box but have a reputation for being difficult builds.  Heller issued a Hawk 75, now reboxed by Smer, but the Monogram kit is a substantially better choice for a 1/72 P-36.  Special Hobby had a series of P-36/Hawk 75s and Aoshima issued a P-36 back in the day, but I've not seen any of these kits in person.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

That's excellent that there is a flyable P-36. It looks like a great restoration. That must have been a real treat to see. Jim, you've got me stoked to build one now. :-) Thanks for posting.