Thursday, July 28, 2011

Curtiss HAWK H-75 in French Service

An initial buying commission came to the USA in early 1938 and quickly decided to buy the H-75, ail export version of the Curtiss P36 fighter which the Army Air Corps had just ordered. Negotiations began, and despite a high unit price (twice as much as for aircraft made in France), contract n� 1035/8 was signed on 9 September 1938 for an initial series of 100 Curtisse H-75s, as well as Spare parts. Made in the USA, then reassembled in France in Bourges between February and May 1939, the H-75A1 was equipped with a Pratt and Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp SCG engine (950 hp) and four 7.5mm machine guns. A second contract, n� 1544/9, was finalized on 8 March 1939 for the purchase of a new series of 100 fighters, the H-75A2. This appellation did not correspond to a technical feature, but just denoted this series. The first H-75A2s were similar to the H-75A1, but from n�120 the 53 last H-75A2s were equipped with the SC3G version of the Twin Wasp, which used a new carburettor, more efficient at high altitude. Furthermore, these aircraft featured two additional machine guns from n�141. They were delivered to the Armee d Y Air between July and September 1939.