A recently restored World War II-era fighter plane taken for a test flight on Dec. 8 had trouble landing at an Ohio airport and crashed through a fence, coming to rest on a road, authorities say.
Multiple media outlets report the 50-year-old pilot, Paul Redlich of Amelia, wasn’t hurt when the 1943 single-engine P-40 plane overshot the runway at Clermont County/Sport’s Airport east of Cincinnati. Authorities say he had reported engine trouble. State troopers and federal authorities are looking into what happened.
The plane was a 1943 Curtiss P40M that was being restored by the Tri-State Warbird Museum located near the airport.
About the Curtiss-Wright P-40 Kittyhawk
The Tri-State Warbird Museum called the 1943 Curtiss P-40M restoration an exciting project on “a very historically significant” aircraft…
This P-40 Kittyhawk saw service with the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) as NZ3119 and was flown by Geoff Fisken, RNZAF’s highest scoring pilot in World War II. Rescued from an aircraft scrap yard in the 1960’s by New Zealand native John Chambers, NZ3119 was structurally rebuilt by Allied Fighter Rebuilds in Auckland, New Zealand and delivered to the Tri-State Warbird Museum in February 2008. The restoration team at the Tri-State Warbird Museum will complete the restoration of NZ3119 to flying condition. Be sure to come by often and watch as this amazing aircraft comes together.
The Curtiss-Wright P-40 Kittyhawk was the first American fighter aircraft to be mass-produced in large quantities at the beginning of World War II. It served on many fronts including the South Pacific, North Africa, the Mediterranean and in China, where it served with distinction as part of Claire Chennault’s Flying Tigers in battles against the Japanese Air Force. Although quickly made obsolete by advances in fighter design, the P-40 proved itself as a rugged and capable aircraft and was used with distinction in the early stages of World War II by the U.S. Army Air Force, Royal Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, French Air Force, and the Soviet Air Force.
Powered by a 1,125 hp Allison 12 cylinder V-1710 engine, the P-40 lacked high altitude performance and posted only moderate cruise speeds compared to later fighters. Rugged and simple, P-40’s exhibited good dive characteristics, agility in turns, and excellent range compared to other early World War II fighters. The P-40 offered the additional advantage of a low price tag which kept it in production as a tactical (ground-attack) fighter long after it was obsolete as an air-superiority type.
13,738 P-40’s of all variants were produced between 1938 and 1944. Approximately 85 exist today.
To learn more about other Warbirds under restoration, visit www.tri-statewarbirdmuseum.org.