Curtiss-Wright P-40 Warhawk Production Color Photographs Part II

A series of color photographs detailing the production of early P-40 Warhawks at the Curtiss-Wright Plant at Buffalo, New York, Summer 1941.  With war in Europe and U.S. Army Air Corps orders exceeding the normal capacity of the plant, production spilled out into the open air around the factory.  LIFE Magazine photographer Dmitri Kessel took this series of pictures, part II.

A busy photograph showing aircraft in various stages of completion outside the Buffalo plant. This photograph is often shown reversed, but the fuselage access door under the insignia was on the aircraft’s port side.
A good view of workstands for the diorama builder.
Workers posing for the photographer with an unpainted Warhawk.
Several details visible here, the engine has leaked a lot of fluid.
Watertower with the Curtiss logo. A wide variety of completion progress between the airframes visible here.
Two fuselages on stands outside the plant.
Even the area outside the plant was crowded, although not as badly as inside.
Another photograph normally seen reversed, given away by the pitot tube on the port wing of the aircraft in the background.
Details of the engine, with the assembly number marked on the cowling.
A view of the paint shop, with components being coated with zinc chromate primer.
The transportation arrangement for the trip to the Buffalo airport.
When transporting the aircraft by truck wasn’t fast enough, the aircraft were flown to the Buffalo airport from the Curtiss parking lot. A P-40 takes off in the background.

Part III here:


6 thoughts on “Curtiss-Wright P-40 Warhawk Production Color Photographs Part II

  1. I do love this a/c! Thanks for all of these posts.
    Two thoughts/questions:
    – Who flew them from the plant to the airport?
    – That P-40 on the trailer would be a great diorama idea if you could source a decent truck in the one true scale. I’m curious though, what’s the curved part on the back of the truck?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were “factory pilots” who were responsible for shuttling them over and the check-out flights before they were turned over to the USAAC. Not sure what the part on the truck is, it doesn’t look like it belongs to a Warhawk. Curtiss was building other types at the time like the O-52, or maybe something completely unrelated.


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