Curtiss P-40F Warhawk (oz223)


Curtiss P-40F Warhawk (oz223) by Claude McCullough 1943 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Curtiss P-40F Warhawk. Control line scale model WWII fighter.

Quote: "YOU can have your screaming hot wires and engines-on-a-broomstick. Me, I'll take scale jobs. Of course, I'm the type of guy (as if there were any other) who goes buzzing around the room with a scale model rat-tat-tatting imaginary Zeros to the amusement of any nonmodelers present who exchange knowing glances and tap their heads significantly. But there is a certain thrill obtainable from an authentically realistic buzz-buggy that the most surrealistically streamlined brain wave fails to arouse - and they have lots of other advantages, too. You'll realize this especially the next time you watch a half foot of horsepower make like a bomb.

This control-line edition of the P-40F is just fast enough to make it interesting without involving the clinical type of interest required in assembling the scattered bits of wood and metal found in a landing crater. The construction would be husky even in balsa, and in bass it's practically gravity proof. The beginner will find this stable control liner easy on props and nerves. Any Class A or B engine may be used successfully, but anything larger than a .29 is a little too speedy for comfort. If you want superspeed, you don't want this job. But -if you want dependable performance and control with a plane that can double in brass as a slick display job and still be in one piece after landing, here she is.

The fuselage is carved from two basswood blocks, 2 x 2-1/2 x 22 inches, and 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 x 22 inches. Trace the top and side views on the block. You will note that the cowl is just a little deeper than two and one half inches below the thrust line. Cement a piece of sheet bass to the bottom of the block to allow for this. With a band saw, cut to top outline. Replace the cut offside pieces with pins or small brads and saw to top outline. Draw a center line as a guide on the top and bottom of the fuselage; during carving operations, do not carve this away.

Clamp in a padded vise and begin carving to general shape with a draw knife or spoke shave. Carve with care from the cockpit forward and backward. When it is roughed to shape, begin to check with templates, using a sharp knife to bring the block to accurate cross section, leaving it a little oversize to allow for sanding. Smooth with the fine side of a wood rasp until the fuselage is free of bumps, and then sand with sandpaper wrapped around a small block.

Split the fuelage blocks apart at the thrust-line joint. With a common cupped chisel and mallet, begin removing wood with smart smacks of the mallet at first and careful taps when the shell begins to thin. Work according to the dotted lines on the plan. This is really very easy, since basswood is a perfect carving wood. Note that the back-view part of the cabin is cupped in; be sure to allow for this when carving.

Cut off the removable forward part of the fuselage. If you like, the entire top shell may be made removable, but it will serve little purpose since the control system is contained in the top. The front hatch is held on with a tube-wire stop at the back and small hooks with a rubber band at the front. A cooling vent made from light bristol board is attached to the right side of the cowl and the cooling flaps are cut from tin, salvaged from a tobacco can and hinged on a wire hoop. When you fly it, open the flaps for ample cooling.

The control mechanism is fully explained on the plan. The control plate is fastened to a 1/8 flat piece of bass. Place several washers between the control plate and base. A small slot is cut in the back part of the right-hand side of the fuselage to permit passage of the control rod.

To regulate the amount of elevator movement, use small wood screws or brads stuck in the controlplate base to limit the movement. Set the controls to operate as shown on the plan. The cabin is celluloid formed over a foundation of light wire that has been bent to shape. The cabin should be made sliding or removable to permit easy access to the control plate.

The tail section is of conventional construction. The hinges are of 1/32 sheet metal and .035 wire fastened securely to the elevators, which are cut from 3/16 sheet bass. The fillets for the tail are carved as a part of the fuselage and the tail surfaces cemented to them. A slot is made in the rudder to pass the elevator control wire.

Cut out the wing ribs from 1/16 sheet and cement them to the spars, which are cut from 1/8 bass sheet, to fit the notches in the ribs. Add leading and trailing edges. The wings are made in two pieces, with the spars extending to the center line. Cut slots in the fuselage at the indicated position and slide the spars through, cementing them together at the center. The 1/8 plywood dihedral spar is made in one piece, slid in through the slot and cemented securely to the main wing spar.

The landing gear is bent from 3/32 steel wire (see plan detail) and, lashed firmly to the plywood spar with liberal applications of cement. The ends of the landing-gear pieces run along the inside of the fuselage shell. A cover of 3/16 aluminum or rubber tubing, brings the landing gear to scale diameter. Plank the leading edge of the wing..."

Update 30/04/2019: Added article (2), thanks to Mary at

Update 30/04/2019: Replaced this plan with a copy scaled to full size at 34 in span, with many thanks to Pit. Note this is a greyscale print at 240 dpi. Have shuffled this listing around now so that the old file (unscaled drawing with OCR article pages) has now become supplement file "article_1"

Update 23/05/2019: Added alternate version of the plan, thanks to rchopper56. This is at 600dpi, 2 color bitmap. Smaller filesize, easier to read.

Supplementary file notes

Alternate plan version.
Article 1 (OCR).
Article 2 (original pages as printed in 1943).


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Curtiss P-40F Warhawk (oz223) by Claude McCullough 1943 - model pic


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