Curtiss P-40 in Action by Ernest R. McDowell, Don Greer

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By Ernest R. McDowell, Don Greer

Few airplane designs have had as peculiar or complicated a historical past because the P-40 sequence. in reality one wonders why the Air Corps elected to offer the H-75P a designation except a touch quantity within the P-36 sequence because it used to be essentially a re-engined P-36A. Spin-offs from the P-36 layout could consequence not just within the P-40 however the XP-37, XP-42, XP-46, XP-53, XP-60, and XP-62 plus those given Y designations and diverse sprint numbers.

Ignoring the Curtiss Hawk biplanes, the genealogy of the P-40 would appear to have its faucet roots within the XP-934 Curtiss rapid of 1932 classic. even though a few adventure within the low-wing monoplane kind was once won whilst the corporate produced its famed Shrike sequence of assault planes, the quick, or XP-31 because it used to be distinct by way of the Air Corps, was once their first low-wing pursuit layout. through a kind of atypical quirks, the rapid at the beginning used to be powered by means of an in-line engine which gave technique to a extra strong radial, simply the opposite of the P-36 to P-40 layout improvement. The XP-31 was once no longer profitable with both engine and the layout used to be quickly deserted (It did earn the doubtful contrast of being the final U.S. pursuit aircraft with a hard and fast touchdown gear). The Curtiss Company's fortunes took a downward flip within the pursuit box while the Boeing P-26A was once chosen via the Air Corps over the XP-31.

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The committee also heard special papers on research being conducted in fluid mechanics, satellite studies, spacecraft design proposals, boost-glide and hypersonic vehicle studies, and missiles. Minutes of Meeting, Committee on Aircraft, Missile and Spacecraft Aerodynamics, March 21, 1958, p. 6. March 18 An NACA report was published entitled, "Preliminary Studies of Manned Satellites, Wingless Configuration, Non-Lifting," by Maxime A. Faget, Benjamine Garland, and James J. Buglia. Later this document became the basic working paper for the Project Mercury development program, and was reissued as NASA Technical Note D-1254, March 1962.

Twenty firms notified the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of their intention to prepare proposals for the development of the manned spacecraft. NASA set the deadline for proposal submission as December 11, 1958. Memo, George M. Low to NASA Administrator, subject: Status Report No. 1, Manned Satellite Project, Dec. 9, 1958; Memo, Robert R. Gilruth to all Space Task Group Personnel, subject: Prime Bidders for Manned Satellite Capsule, Nov. 19, 1958. November 20 The three military services were invited to send one man each to the Space Task Group tp perform liaison duties for the manned spacecraft project.

Watkins. ( * Assigned to Manned Spacecraft Center as of November 1962). Personnel detailed from the Lewis Research Center to the Space Task Group and Project Mercury were as follows: E. H. Buller, A. M. Busch, W. R. Dennis, M. J. Krasnican, *Glynn S. Lunney, *Andre J. Meyer, W. R. Meyer, W. J. Nesbitt, *Gerald J. Pesman, and Leonard Rabb. Individuals from Lewis remained on a detailed status until 1959 when they were permanently reassigned to the Space Task Group. The 45 people listed above were the embryo work force of Project Mercury.

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