No. 10654. Curtiss 87 Kittyhawk Mk.III (G-KITT c/n 31423)
Photographed at Shoreham, UK, by Norman Feltwell

Curtiss 87 Kittyhawk Mk.III

06/30/2011. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Referred to as 'Curtiss P-40M Kittyhawk, serial 43-5802 (civilian registration G-KITT)' by the Hangar 11 Collection (the present owners), this aircraft was assigned the c/n 27490 when it was produced as a P-40M-10-CU under the USAAF s/n 43-5802 in October 1943. On January 29, 1943 it was transferred to the RCAF, redesignated Kittyhawk Mk.III it was serialed 840.

On August 23, 1946 it was struck off charge, and on September 27, 1947 it was sold to Vance B. Roberts of Seattle, Washington, USA, where it was registered as N1233N. On July 21, 1950 it was acquired by Art J. Bell of Bell Air Services at Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington, a year later it was transferred to Oregon State University at Corvallis, Oregon, where it was used as an Instructional Airframe until 1954.

Bob Sturges of Columbia Airmotive, Troutdale, Oregon, bought the aircraft, which was used as an advertising billboard at Troutdale Airport till 1961, subsequently it was stored dismantled. On February 19, 1967 the aircraft, still a P-40M/Kittyhawk Mk.III, took up the paper identity N1009N, c/n 31423, which was taken from a scrapped P-40N-20/Kittyhawk Mk.IV (ex USAAF
43-23484, ex RCAF 877) that previously was owned by Earl Reinert.

(This identity swap is often done in the USA where the type in question has no certification for civilian use in the 'Limited' catergory, and would otherwise need to be registered in the restrictive 'Experimental' catergory.)

In 1979 it was sold to the P-40 expert Thomas 'Tommy' L. Camp of Livermore, California, and restored it was flown again in 1982. Still on the FAA register as N1009N, the aircraft was sold to The Fighter Collection in 1985 and based at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford in the UK, where it flew in RAF livery, coded FR870/GA-S of No. 112 (F) Squadron. On July 11, 1994, it was registered in France as TP-40M F-AZPJ, new owner was the SARL Spitfire Warbird Ltd. at Marsannay-la-Côte, near Dijon, and operated by Christophe Jacquard it carried the codes P-8196/34.

Swapped for Spitfire Mk.XIV s/n SM832, the Curtiss aircraft returned to Duxford, UK and operated by The Fighter Collection it was registered by the CAA to the Patina Ltd. at Jersey as G-KITT on March 3, 1998. Eight years later Peter Alexander Teichman of London acquired the aircraft and had it registered on January 20, 2006. Marked as USAAF P-40M, s/n 42-10855, of the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, the aircraft is operated by the Hangar 11 Collection."

Created June 30, 2011